Lehigh Valley Reads Partners with Waterford.org

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Lehigh Valley Reads & Waterford.org partner to provide a quality preschool experience to 125 four-year-olds across the region.

Bethlehem, PA. – January 6, 2020 –Lehigh Valley Reads, powered by Lehigh Valley Public Media™ and United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley, has partnered with Waterford.org to provide 125 Lehigh Valley children access to Waterford UPSTART. Lehigh Valley Reads plans to work with school districts in the region and Community Services for Children to identify these early learners.

Waterford UPSTART is an at-home Kindergarten readiness program that contains Reading, Math and Science curriculum through personalized software. Because of Waterford UPSTART’s proven effectiveness, the program was named a 2019 Audacious Project, a collaborative funding initiative housed at TED. 70 percent of 3-4-year-olds in Lehigh and Northampton Counties are without a pre-k program so Lehigh Valley Reads and Waterford.org thought it was imperative to take action, helping 125 children get the early education they need to begin school ready to learn.

“We are thrilled to work with Waterford.org in an effort to further our mission of ensuring all Lehigh Valley students read on grade level by the end of third grade by 2025,” Tim Fallon, Chief Executive Officer of Lehigh Valley Public Media said. “This partnership will allow us to set our local families up for success when it comes to their children’s early education.”

Not only will families receive the award-winning Waterford UPSTART software, but those without access to a computer or internet will also be provided the technology at no cost.

“Waterford.org believes every child should be able to walk into their first day of school confident and ready to learn. We are excited to partner with Lehigh Valley Public Media and United Way of Greater Lehigh Valley to bring that possibility to more children,” said Dr. Benjamin Heuston, CEO of Waterford.org.

The Lehigh Valley Reads initiative is a regional literacy campaign powered by Lehigh Valley Public Media and United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley, to ensure all Lehigh Valley students read on grade level by the end of third grade by 2025.


About Lehigh Valley Public Media™
Lehigh Valley Public Media™, home of PBS39/WLVT, WLVR, and WPPT, acts as the catalyst to promote civic engagement, and to fulfill the regional needs of the Greater Lehigh Valley, through its dynamic communication platforms and resources. The Reporter Corps® creates community-focused content for PBS39 News Tonight, digital platforms, and WLVR. Lehigh Valley Public Media and United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley are partnering to fund and fulfill the regional literacy initiative Lehigh Valley Reads. This campaign is working to ensure all Lehigh Valley students read on grade level by the end of third grade by 2025. Lehigh Valley Public Media is a community-owned public media organization serving eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. LVPM is licensed in Allentown to the Lehigh Valley Public Telecommunications Corporation. For more information, visit PBS39.org.

About Waterford.org
Waterford.org seeks to blend the best aspects of learning science, mentoring relationships, and innovative technologies to form community, school, and home programs that deliver excellence and equity for all learners. Waterford UPSTART was launched in Utah in 2009 to help four-year-old children start school ready to learn by developing cognitive and social-emotional skills at home. In the last decade, Waterford UPSTART has expanded, providing education to thousands of rural, low-income, refugee, and English-language learning families across the country at no cost. On average, 92% of children who participate in Waterford UPSTART are ready for kindergarten—compared to a 65% average nationwide and 48% for low-income children.


Information provided to TVL by:
Victoria Scialfa
Marketing and Public Relations Manager
Lehigh Valley Public Media