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Superintendent Unveils Citywide Early Learning and Literacy Initiative Using Smartphones and Mobile Devices

Santa Ana, California – July 22, 2016 – Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD) Superintendent Dr. Rick Miller is hosting Paso a Paso – Together We Read, an Early Learning Literacy Innovation Summit from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. PST at Davis Elementary School, located at 1405 French Street, Santa Ana, CA 92701.

With an invitation open to the entire Santa Ana community, this event will unveil Superintendent Miller’s citywide English and Spanish early reading initiative using smartphones, tablets, and computers. Together, with members of the Santa Ana Unified School District Board of Education, Dr. Miller will challenge the Santa Ana community to read 1 million words by November 30, 2016.

This transformative literacy effort supports the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Students. Through this initiative, all Santa Ana families—whether they are enrolled in SAUSD schools or not—will have free access to the award-­‐winning Footsteps2Brilliance Early Literacy App in English and Spanish.

Footsteps2Brilliance provides a comprehensive curriculum of over 1,000 English and Spanish books, songs, and games that are fun for children and easy for parents to access on any smartphone, tablet, or computer with or without an Internet connection. Research shows that more than eighty percent of parents own smartphones or mobile devices. In partnership with Footsteps2Brilliance, SAUSD is giving families, schools, and the community the high-­‐quality educational tools they need to accelerate early learning and literacy using the devices they already own.

“Literacy is the key to learning,” Superintendent Miller said. “This initiative represents a commitment to our families that all SAUSD students will be reading by third grade.” Santa Ana is a community where a majority of its students speak Spanish at home. By becoming a Model Innovation City, Santa Ana will serve as a blueprint for districts around the nation to achieve early literacy success in dual language communities. Through this Model Innovation City initiative, Dr. Miller and his team are seeking to leave an indelible legacy, impacting the lives of children and families throughout the Santa Ana community for years to come.

“Through our partnership with Footsteps2Brilliance,” said Superintendent Miller, “it’s another step in the right direction of putting early learners on the path toward college and career success.” “We are honored to partner with Santa Ana Unified School District and their community in this transformative citywide initiative that gives all children equal access to high-­‐quality bilingual English and Spanish literacy instruction. We believe this will be a powerful model for districts across the nation to follow as they prepare their children for success in school and in life,” says Ilene Rosenthal, CEO of Footsteps2Brilliance.

About Santa Ana Unified School District:

Santa Ana Unified School District educates approximately 53,000 students at 57 school sites throughout the Santa Ana community. The K-­‐12 school district is the largest in Orange County and the second largest employer in Santa Ana, with approximately 4,500 educators and staff members. Contact us at 714-­‐558-­‐ 5555, or pioinfo@sausd.us. For more information about our schools, visit www.sausd.us. About Footsteps2Brilliance, Inc.: Footsteps2Briliance, Inc. is the breakthrough early learning platform that accelerates early achievement by uniting the power of mobile gaming technology with the latest in cognitive research. Footsteps2Brilliance provides enticing, interactive, 24/7 learning experiences that digitally link school and home to give students the edge they need for success in school today and the world tomorrow. www.footsteps2brilliance.com.

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

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