Late in June, we hosted our second annual UPSTART Graduation. The four-year old students completed their final assessment then parents, UPSTART staff and IRC staff members gathered to celebrate with the cutest graduation ceremony to date. Each student received a certificate of completion and a paper graduation cap, stapled to fit them just right. After, families posed smiling—proud—and enjoyed a slice of cake.
The IRC in Salt Lake City’s Education Program provides an Early Childhood Education program. In partnership with UPSTART, an in-home, technology-delivered kindergarten readiness program, we give children ages two to four who have recently arrived to the U.S. the opportunity to receive early instruction in reading, math and science. UPSTART provides computers, internet service, and the on-line instructional programming for participating students and their family for a 9-month period. Out of the 29 students enrolled in Upstart for the 2016-2107 school year, 22 completed the 1000-minutes of required programming and are officially Kindergarten Ready by UPSTART performance standards.
The Early Childhood Education program aims to increase rates of kindergarten readiness and parent engagement while simultaneously decreasing the rates of school dropout. In addition to early childhood instruction, our Education team instructs refugee parents on early childhood interventions and aids in school enrollments within Head Start, UPSTART online, and public pre-school enrollments.
At the end of the day, students and parents, UPSTART and IRC staff, all glowed with pride at their accomplishments. Support refugee families enrolled in programs like our Early Childhood Education program by giving a monetary gift today. You can learn how your support impacts these programs by emailing us at SaltLakeCity [at] Rescue.org.