Grant allows rural Idaho kids to get ready for kindergarten

Posted at 2:48 AM, Jan 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-14 04:49:12-05

A $14.2-million grant from the U.S. Department of Education will allow children in Idaho and other rural states to prepare for kindergarten through an online program.

The Times-News reports Sunday that pilot programs will also be offered in Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota and South Dakota.

The nonprofit Waterford Institute will offer an online kindergarten readiness program for free with lessons, digital books and animated songs. Each family will receive a laptop computer that they can keep if they meet usage requirements.

They're targeting children who don't have access to preschool.

Idaho is one of five states that don't have publicly funded preschool. Some families may not be able to afford tuition at private preschools.

Some organizations criticize online kindergarten readiness programs for denying children hands-on school experiences.