Step Up for Students Offers Scholarships that Help Pay for Readability, But How Do Students Qualify?

March 17, 2023

Step Up for Students

Parents might have learned about a program called Step Up for Students that provides scholarship opportunities for children who struggle to read at a proficient level. The program allows students who qualify to allocate their scholarship funds towards private tutoring, literacy programs and other materials that can help them gain reading proficiency.

However, Step Up for Students is only available for children in Florida, and the New Worlds Reading Scholarship Program has specific eligibility requirements. Here’s what parents need to know about the New Worlds Reading Scholarship Program and how it can help children access Readability.

What is the New Worlds Reading Scholarship Program?

To qualify for the New Worlds Reading Scholarship Program, children must be in grades kindergarten through fifth grade and meet the eligibility requirements. For older students ELA scores are considered from the previous year’s state assessments; if the child scored less than a Level 3, they might be eligible.

A Level 3 is considered a satisfactory reading level, while a Level 4 correlates to a proficient level (a Level 5 is advanced). In addition, scores from the FAST ELA Reading for Progress Monitoring 1 (PM1), PM2 or PM3 in 2022-2023 also could be used to determine eligibility. Younger children (kindergarten through second grade) have different eligibility criteria.

Step Up for Students

What is the Amount of the Scholarship?

Children who qualify for the New Worlds Reading Scholarship Program receive $500 in an education savings account that they can allocate towards reading programs, private tutoring and other materials to help improve reading.

How Can Scholarship Funds Be Used for a Readability Subscription?

Those who qualify for the scholarship can use their scholarship funds to pay for a monthly subscription of Readability. It’s easy to sign up for a Readability subscription through the program; students can login to their Step Up for Students account, visit the Scholar Shop and choose Readability.

Step Up for Students

Here’s How Readability Helps Readers Gain Proficiency

When children struggle with reading, parents might wonder what programs best facilitate the reading journey. Readability has partnered with Step Up for Students to make the program accessible to children who need it. Readability can help boost confidence and help children increase their literacy skills. The program offers:

  • A built-in 24/7 tutor
  • Tools to boost vocabulary
  • Properly leveled reading lessons
  • Engaging books
  • Read-aloud options
  • Comprehension assessments
  • A private parent portal that shows reading data

The Reading Tutor Guides the Lessons

Readability is designed with a 24/7 built-in AI reading tutor. This unique tutor is programmed with voice recognition software and learns the voice of each reader. Voice-recognition software allows the tutor to engage with the child and identify when the child is struggling. Just like a real tutor, the AI virtual tutor provides guidance, encouragement and feedback.

Readability Helps Students Increase their Word Knowledge

Vocabulary knowledge is an important part of the reading journey. If a child doesn’t know a word’s definition, they can lose the meaning of a sentence or the entire context of a plot. Readability helps children develop their vocabulary, and each book in a child’s reading library includes a vocabulary list.

In addition, children are invited to explore words on the page. They can tap any word to hear the word’s definition or hear it used in a sentence. Every new word that the child taps and discovers is merged into their comprehensive vocabulary list; children can explore words again and again.

Readability Offers Appropriately-Leveled Lessons

When children start the Readability program, it’s recommended that they begin one reading level below their current level. This helps children feel more confident as they begin reading.

If parents are unsure of their children’s reading level, they can use Readability’s free reading assessment. This quick test will reveal the child’s current level. In addition, the program also can determine the best baseline level.

Children only advance to a more difficult reading level when they demonstrate mastery of both comprehension and fluency (words read per minute). The tutor is assessing fluency as the child reads.

At the end of each book, the tutor also asks the child questions to gauge their understanding of the book. If a child answers a question incorrectly, the tutor will show them a section from the book with clues about the answer. The child is provided with another opportunity to answer the question.

Through fluency assessment and the end-of-book comprehension quizzes, the program measures the child’s overall reading fluency with each lesson and completed book.

Engaging Books Encourage Children to Love Reading

Each reading level in Readability features a mix of non-fiction and fiction titles. Books also are written to appeal to a child’s age and maturity; these high-low books ensure that the text isn’t beyond the child’s reading ability and the books are interesting for their age group. Children can explore and read books about favorite sports heroes and meet new characters, too.


Read-Aloud Options Allow Storytime to be Accessible Anywhere

Children might love to hear their parents read them stories aloud. Listening to stories can be beneficial for children and help them boost their comprehension, too. Hearing books narrated can help children hear the emotion of the story and gain other insights, too. Readability includes a feature called Storytime that allows children to listen to their favorite Readability books and follow along as they listen.

Comprehension Assessments Measure a Child’s Understanding

At the end of each book, children are asked questions about what they read. Again, this is how the program measures the child’s comprehension. If children answer any question incorrectly, the program teaches them strategies on how to re-read to find the answer. The AI tutor shows the child the section from the book that provides clues and reads this aloud.

Re-reading can help children better understand difficult sections of books and stories. This technique also can help children who are easily distracted.

A Private Parent Portal Shows a Child’s Progress

Parents are never left wondering if their child is gaining proficiency. Readability includes a private parent portal. This dashboard includes the child’s reading data. Parents can view their child’s current reading level, their reading fluency and their comprehension. In addition, parents also can see how long the child used Readability. This data can be included in a report that can be emailed to the child’s teacher to help facilitate communication about the child’s reading progress.

Try Readability for Free

While children in Florida might be eligible to receive scholarship funds for Readability through Step Up for Students, these scholarships are not available outside of Florida. However, all parents can sign up for a free seven-day trial of Readability to explore the program and better understand how it can help their child gain proficiency and confidence.

A monthly subscription to Readability is $19.99 per month. However, one account can be used for up to three children. Parents with two children who need a reading tutor could use the same program for both children at no additional cost. Each child also has a separate portal for parents to keep providing easier monitoring of reading progress.

Sign up today to explore the program and begin a free trial.