New Worlds Reading Scholarship – The ability to read is the foundation for academic success from an early age. Students who struggle with reading may still struggle to reach their full learning potential. New Worlds Reading grant accounts enable early intervention to support students’ ongoing development.
The program benefits students in grades K-5 by providing families with access to a $500 Education Savings Account (ESA) to pay for programs and materials designed to improve reading skills.
- New Worlds Reading Scholarship
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New Worlds Reading Scholarship
Step Up For Students is no longer accepting applications for the New Worlds Scholarship for the 2022-2023 school year. Interested in the New Worlds Scholarship for the 2023-2024 school year? Sign up for our interest list. You will be the first to know about program changes and will be notified when it is time to register.
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Have you applied for the New Worlds Scholarship 2022-2023 and are you waiting for your application to be processed and/or funded?
Step Up For Students will continue to work with the State of Florida throughout the summer to reward and fund students for the 2022-2023 school year. Once your student’s application has been processed and/or funded, you will be notified by email.
New Worlds Reading Scholarship Accounts provide access to an Education Savings Account (ESA). ESA works like a bank account with money that you can spend on educational resources.
Pre-approved services and products are available through Step Up For Students’ Education Marketplace Assistant (EMA), which allows families to benefit directly from scholarships without having to pay out of pocket. Families also have the option to purchase services and products and request a refund through EMA.
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Students who qualify for the New Worlds Reading Scholarship account may also be eligible to receive a free book each month through the University of Florida Lastinger Center.
This literacy program helps struggling readers in Florida build a personalized library based on their interests, while providing families with practical support materials that build reading confidence. The books are available in English, Spanish, Haitian Creole and Braille formats.
To avoid upfront fees, Reading Scholarship families can choose one of Step Up For Students’ direct payment options. Our direct payment options include part-time tutoring, after-school and summer reading programs, and purchases of pre-approved items through EMA.
Families who receive reading grants can also pay out of pocket for approved goods and services. Families can then log in to EMA to request a refund.
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Families must first create an EMA account. They then create their healthcare provider profile. Families can then add students to the ‘My Students’ tab. Finally, parents can click the ‘Apply’ button to apply for the New Worlds Reading Scholarship.
Step Up For Students will send you updates to the email address you provided when submitting your application. You can also log in to EMA at any time to check the status of your application.
Families receiving funding can log in to EMA at any time to check the balance of their student’s New Worlds Reading Scholarship account. Step Up For Students works closely with private schools, public schools, educational service providers and educational retailers to provide educational opportunities to Florida-12 high school students.
Step Up brochures, which you can download here, provide an overview of private schools, unique skills and scholarship programs for public schools. Brochures are available in English and Spanish.
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Promote Step Up For Students in your church bulletin using one of these print bulletin ads or copy the ads to print in your bulletin.
Your child can attend a private school with the K-12 Step Up For Students grant. Currently, all families, regardless of household income, are eligible to receive an average of $7,700 per year per child for tuition and other educational needs. To receive a scholarship, a child must be a Florida resident and eligible to enroll in a primary and secondary public school. Learn more or apply today at SUFS.org
Promote Step Up For Student by adding a digital banner to your website. Download the images or copy the HTML code and embed them on your website.
Promote Step Up For Students by sharing content on your social media platforms. Download images or share pre-written messages on your school’s social media platform.
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Effective July 1, 2021, dependent children of a reservist or active duty member of the United States Armed Forces are eligible for private school scholarships. Dependent children of full-time law enforcement officers are eligible for private school scholarships regardless of income. We encourage you to use this resource to promote Step Up For Students to military families and law enforcement
Promote your school as a Step Up For Students partner by hanging a 6″ x 1″ vinyl banner in front of your school. New Worlds Reading is a statewide program developed by the Florida Legislature to support children’s literacy and lifelong love of reading. Each month, New Worlds Reading provides free books in English, Spanish and Haitian Creole to VPK Florida students who are not yet making age-appropriate progress and to K-5 public and charter school students who are not yet reading at grade level. Once enrolled, students receive books and families have access to interactive reading guides that support literacy development and a love of reading.
Families of children who participate in New Worlds Reading receive engaging literacy resources, activities and guides that encourage shared reading experiences and enhance language interactions. This program is completely free for families to participate in, and once enrolled, students remain eligible for the program until they enter sixth grade.
When children can read books that reflect their interests and when they can recognize themselves in the story, their enthusiasm for reading increases. By combining the excitement and anticipation of monthly book home deliveries with reading resources, New Worlds Reading aims to help children develop the interest in reading and the literacy skills they need to positively impact their future. The UF Center partners with Scholastic, the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books, to purchase and distribute the books.
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The Center is a Registered Scholarship Funding Organization (SFO) and is eligible for tax credits to support this initiative. Through New Worlds Reading, corporate taxpayers can make monetary contributions to the Center and receive dollar-for-dollar relief from certain Florida taxes. For more information, please contact us at [email protected]. The New Worlds Reading Initiative is working to increase children’s reading skills, one free book at a time
The New Worlds Reading Initiative sends one free book per month to children who participate in the program.
Welcome to From Florida, a podcast highlighting student success, teaching excellence, and cutting-edge research at the University of Florida.
If a child is not reading at a proficient level by third grade, chances are he or she will struggle for the rest of his or her school years and be on a path to not graduating from high school. In this episode, Shaunté Duggins talks about Florida’s New Worlds Reading Initiative, based at UF’s Lastinger Center for Learning, and how it hopes to change that trajectory – one book at a time. Produced by Nicci Brown, Brooke Adams, Emma Richards and James L. Sullivan. Original music: Daniel Townsend, graduate student in music composition at the College of the Arts.
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Nicci Brown: The New York Times recently reported that there is an alarming decline in the math and reading skills of nine-year-old children across the country. But there is hope here in Florida, because our state can be a step ahead in taking steps to ensure children are reading at grade level.
Today we’ll talk about the New World Reading Initiative and how it helps families develop their children’s literacy skills. This is not the only action the state is taking, but this initiative could be a national model for proactively solving this problem.
Our guest today is Shaunté Duggins, deputy director of this initiative, based at the University of Florida’s Lastinger Center for Learning. Welcome Shaunte!
Shaunte Duggins: Of course. So the New Worlds Reading Initiative was founded by House Speaker Chris Sprowls and received unanimous bipartisan support in the Florida Legislature and was subsequently signed into law in June 2021. And so, House Bill 3 created the New Worlds Reading Initiative and it is a statewide program designed to accelerate reading and develop literacy skills among our state’s elementary and middle school students who cannot yet read at a basic level.
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Nicci Brown: Earlier this month, The New York Times reported that results from recently released national exams showed that nine-year-olds’ math and reading skills have declined the most in more than three decades. Students were tested earlier this year with results similar to those of 2020, of course just before the pandemic. First, why are the reading and math skills of nine-year-olds, students who are typically in third or fourth grade, so important?
Shaunté Duggins is associate director of the New Worlds Reading Initiative, based at the University of Florida’s Lastinger Center for Learning. Photo credit: Lastinger Center for Learning.
Shaunté Duggins: So we know that the primary responsibility of schools is to teach children to read. Reading influences all other areas of learning, even though many children do not really develop as competent readers. That is why effective reading instruction has received a lot of attention
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