Children who can read at their grade level by the third grade are projected to have more positive outcomes in school and beyond. To prepare our county’s youth, San Bernardino County’s Vision2Read Initiative was created with the following goals:
• Focus attention on the importance of reading
• Highlight literacy-related programs and services throughout San Bernardino County
• Connect people to available literacy resources and/or volunteer opportunities
The Footsteps2Brilliance program which helps to foster “big brains for little people” was built to support this initiative.
About Footsteps2Brilliance App
Footsteps2Brilliance (F2B) is a comprehensive bilingual early literacy and interactive application program available for free to all children ages 0-5 in the county and is led by San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools and their literacy partners, First 5 San Bernardino, Preschool Services Department, and Children’s Fund. The goal of which is to raise the bar for literacy and support every child from cradle to career.
The Footsteps2Brilliance app can be used in early learning classrooms or at home to help foster school readiness skills by increasing student engagement in a digital format and encouraging family involvement by providing access to stories, skills-based games and more. It helps to remove barriers that may prevent young children from literacy opportunities, promotes school and future success, and encourage a lifelong enjoyment of reading. In the last year, the literacy impact has been major with over 580,400 books and 257,072,072 words read and 96,479 hours of engagement. The app can be used on any smart device, with or without a Wi-Fi connection. This is highly beneficial for families as it increases access to content and equity across our county.
Who can use Footsteps2Brilliance App?
Early educators can use Footsteps2Brilliance and sister app Clever Kids University with the children in their care in a variety of ways. There are hundreds of ebooks available in their collections including Traditional Spanish Songbooks, Nursery Rhyme Karaoke, and Super Sounds which can be used for read- alouds. Engaging children in read-alouds and asking them questions throughout are research-based strategies to support the development of foundational reading skills such as concepts about print, fluency and phonological awareness. It also helps children develop their oral language skills, reading comprehension, logic and reasoning. The apps can be utilized to further a child’s school readiness as they approach enrollment in transitional kindergarten or kindergarten.
Footsteps2Brilliance App Features
Features include digital books, skill-based games, and early writing opportunities. Children can access all of the content in both English and Spanish to support literacy skill development in both languages. The Doodle pad feature allows children to practice letters, independently or through tracing and writing. The Create a Book feature is an opportunity for users to create cover page art and write their own stories using short sentences, story creation arcs, and illustration. Additionally, there are early numeracy activities, letter formation, speaking and listening activities and resources and activities to support social emotional learning. “Together Time” activities are designed as “off app” opportunities for families and caregivers to engage together. Families can also track student progress including words read and days spent working in the apps.
How Does Quality Start Utilize Footsteps2Brilliance?
Many state preschool classrooms, including QSSB participants, utilize the program and encourage their families to participate at home by providing registration information. The app has been used to support distance learning and home learning. In the classroom, the Footsteps2Brilliance app is used in small and whole group instruction to promote early literacy skills. Teachers are also able to download program data from the app to further inform their instruction.
There are exciting opportunities on the horizon for early education settings and Footsteps2Brilliance. Currently, there is a new cohort for family child care providers who will now have trainings and support to learn how to best incorporate Footsteps2Brilliance into their daily schedules using developmentally appropriate practices. They will also have access to student progress data in early literacy skills such as phonological awareness, phonics, comprehension and concepts of print. Families of the children enrolled in the FCC Cohort will also be provided with training to support at -home use, further strengthening the partnership between providers and home.