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United Way Early Childhood Literacy Initiative


What is the Early Literacy Innovation Zone?


The Early Literacy Innovation Zone of North Central Massachusetts is a public/private partnership that gives every school, every family, and every community organization within our participating school district boundaries access to the Footsteps2Brilliance Enterprise App.



What is Footsteps2Brillance®?

Footsteps2Brilliance® is a comprehensive English/Spanish literacy app that will help your child excel at reading and be prepared for school.  


This breakthrough early learning solution helps all children become proficient readers by 3rd grade.  The device allows school districts to leverage the mobile devices that parents already own to scale early literacy citywide.  


The comprehensive Footsteps2Brilliance® curriculum contains over 1,000 interactive books, songs, and games that can be read in either English or Spanish.  The innovative model has won numerous awards for using game-based methodology to engage students and inspire a love of learning.


The easy to use bilingual curriculum also helps parents, including parents who speak English as a second language, prepare their children for academic success.


Who Can Use Footsteps2Brillance®?

Any child from birth to 3rd grade that resides within the participating North Central Massachusetts School Districts:


  • Athol/Royalston
  • Ayer/Shirley
  • Clinton
  • Fitchburg
  • Gardner
  • Lunenburg
  • Leominster
  • Narragansett
  • North Middlesex
  • Winchendon


The app can be used on any mobile device or computer with or without an Internet connection.


What Are the Benefits of Footsteps2Brillance®?

Within 30 days, Footsteps2Brilliance® users have shown measurable results in vocabulary acquisition, critical thinking, and comprehension. A third party study showed that students who used Footsteps2Brilliance® gained 7 months of vocabulary acquisition on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test in just 1 month. That is almost an entire year’s worth of academic progress!


Did you also know…

  • 90% of brain development happens before first grade
  • Children who are read to on a daily basis are likely to become good readers
  • Children who use Footsteps2Brilliance® 45 minutes per week meet or exceed school literacy benchmarks


How Do I Sign-Up?
  1. Register for your free super-secret code at:
  2. There are 2 apps that your child can use: Footsteps2Brilliance® and Clever Kids University®.  Download these apps from your app store.
  3. Play 15 minutes each day with your child.


Who Do I Thank?

FREE access to the Footsteps2Brilliance® App is made possible by these partners:

  • Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts
  • United Way of North Central Massachusetts
  • Footsteps2Brilliance®
  • FLLAC Collaborative
  • Fitchburg State University


The partners of the Early Literacy Innovation Zone also thank these donors:

  • Ronald M. Ansin
  • Heywood Healthcare
  • Rollstone Bank & Trust
  • Bemis Associates