Osceola Reads, a cooperative effort backed by local governments, the Osceola school district and the Education Foundation Osceola, is sponsoring the Ultimate Reading Race Challenge, which utilizes the Footsteps2Brilliance reading app – which is free for parents to sign up for.

The challenge began Sept. 1 and runs through Nov. 22. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of incentive to join the challenge now. The children who log the most minutes on the app over two-week time periods – now through Nov. 8 and Nov. 22 will win an Amazon Fire tablet. The minutes reset at the start of each segment, so there’s two segments children can win if parents sign up now.

Registration is easy and free for all Osceola County residents. Parents can enter their children in the contest at any time OsceolaReads.com/Register for the chance to be eligible to win the Challenge prizes.    

Footsteps2Brilliance, targeting kids ages 3-5, is an extra tool for parents to encourage early literacy skills, which goes hand in hand with those children being prepared for kindergarten. It encourages increasing reading readiness for that first day of school.

Since it is tablet-based, it encourages using reading skills on the go, like in the car or at the store or out on other errands. Wi-fi isn’t needed to use the app, just to log in to Footsteps2Brilliance weekly to update a child’s usage data in the F2B database, to be in the running for the Fire.

There are also stations for children to use the app at several of the county’s libraries, like in St. Cloud Veteran’s Library and Hart Memorial Library in downtown Kissimmee, and the Marydia Community Center.

The St. Cloud library station location was installed in partnership with County Commissioner Fred Hawkins, Jr.

“The mission for educating our children begins long before they start school. That’s why I’m proud to promote the literacy of young children with the installation of this technology station,” Hawkins said. “Osceola Reads is an important tool to pave the way for young learners to hone vital reading skills, and this station broadens access for our residents to this key program.”

Osceola Reads’ “Sponsor a Station” program provides community organizations and businesses the opportunity to sponsor a technology station in and around their business or another Osceola County location, and brings Osceola Reads’ resources and allows families to utilize the Footsteps2Brilliance reading app out in the community.

If you are interested in sponsoring an Osceola Reads Station or know of someone who might be interested, visit the website at www.OsceolaReads.com/SponsorAStation, or contact Osceola Reads at info@osceolareads.com.