Frequently Asked Questions

CONTACT US

I am a parent or guardian who needs help with: my child’s application, updating my enrolled child’s information, updating our address, etc, checking on the status of my shipment, unenrolling my child, or something similar. Who do I reach out to?

 

Email support@newworldsreading.com or call (855) 399-1147.
Our support team is available 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. (EST), Monday - Friday

I am a school administrator or educator who wants to: request marketing materials or ask questions about the program. Who do I reach out to?

 

Email new.worlds@coe.ufl.edu
Our team will be happy to assist!

I am a journalist who wants to learn more about the program. Who do I reach out to?

 

Email new.worlds@coe.ufl.edu.
Our team will be happy to connect you with the best representative!

ABOUT THE PROGRAM

Who administers this program?

The University of Florida Lastinger Center for Learning is the state-appointed administrator for the New Worlds Reading Initiative. As a department of the University of Florida College of Education, the Lastinger Center improves the quality of teaching, learning, and childcare. By researching, developing and scaling educational innovations for adults and children, the center strives to put all learners on trajectories for lifelong success.

Is the New Worlds Reading Initiative a government program?

The New Worlds Reading Initiative received bipartisan support in the Florida legislature, and was signed into law in June of 2021 to serve Florida’s eligible public and charter school students.

How is the New Worlds Reading Initiative funded?

The New Worlds Reading Initiative receives funding from the Florida legislature. Additionally, the UF Lastinger Center is a registered Scholarship Funding Organization (SFO) and accepts tax credit contributions to support the New Worlds Reading Initiative.​ If you’re interested in making a donation, please visit our donation page or contact David Bryant at David.bryant@coe.ufl.edu.

How will student information be protected?

As an institution within a public university, the UF Lastinger Center abides by all rules and regulations regarding the security of personal student information.

About New Worlds Reading Scholarship Accounts

In 2018, Florida became the first state to offer an education savings account program for students enrolled in public schools. The New Worlds Reading Scholarship, administered by Step Up For Students, was created to help public school students in grades K-5 who struggle with reading.  

 

The program offers parents/guardians access to education savings accounts, worth $500 each, to pay for tuition and fees related to part-time tutoring, summer and after-school literacy programs, instructional materials (including desktop/laptop computers and tablets and curriculum related to reading or literacy.) 

 

Click here to sign up for the interest list and we will let you know when it’s time to apply. 

ELIGIBILITY

Who is eligible to participate in this program?

The New Worlds Reading Initiative serves students who are:

1. In grades K-5

2. Enrolled in a Florida public or district-sponsored charter school

3. Not yet reading on grade level.

 

How do I know if my child is not yet reading on grade level?

Student reading level is based on state assessments.

  • Kindergarten-Grade 3: Students identified as having a substantial deficiency in reading meet the following criteria in accordance with Rule 6A-6.053 subsection 12:

    • The student scores at the lowest achievement level/benchmark as identified by the publisher during a universal screening period, on an assessment listed in the district’s approved District K-12 Comprehensive Evidence-based Reading Plan;

    • The student scores at the lowest achievement level/benchmark as identified by the publisher during progress monitoring administration at any time during the school year, on an assessment listed in the district’s approved District K-12 Comprehensive Evidence-based Reading Plan; or

    • The student has demonstrated, through consecutive formative assessments or teacher observation data, minimum skill levels for reading competency in one or more of the areas of phonological awareness; phonics; vocabulary, including oral language skills; reading fluency; and reading comprehension.

  • Grades 4-5: Any student who scored either a Level 1 or Level 2 on the prior school year’s English Language Arts Florida Standards Assessment or meets any of the three criteria outlined above for identification of a substantial deficiency in reading.

 

If you are unsure of whether or not your child is reading on grade level, please contact your child’s teacher.

 

My child is an incoming kindergartener, and does not have test scores yet. How can I know if they are eligible?

While you may apply for your kindergartener at any time, their eligibility will be verified AFTER their first assessment period, which ends in September. Incoming kindergarteners who are identified as eligible may receive books beginning in December. However, we have great news: no matter when book shipments begin for your child, they will still receive all nine books for the school year!

Are private school students or homeschool students eligible for New Worlds Reading?

As a state-funded program, the New Worlds Reading Initiative is currently only available to public and district-sponsored charter school students in Florida. Private school and home school students are not eligible.

How does New Worlds Reading know if a student is eligible?

Our program compares student applications to Florida Department of Education records to verify that a student is eligible for the New Worlds Reading Initiative. To avoid enrollment delays, caregivers should list a student’s full, legal name (no nicknames or abbreviations) on the program application, the student's date of birth, grade level, district, and school.

Can a student become ineligible for the New Worlds Reading Initiative?

Eligible students remain enrolled in the New Worlds Reading Initiative until they complete fifth grade, even if their reading scores improve. Families may choose to opt out of the program at any time.

APPLICATIONS & ENROLLMENT

How do families of eligible students apply to participate in the New Worlds Reading Initiative?

Caregivers may apply for eligible students at https://www.newworldsreading.com/fl/en/enrollment.html/. Once our team verifies your child’s information with the Florida Department of Education’s records, you will receive an email letting you know if your child’s application has been accepted. This verification process may take several weeks.

When are applications open?

Applications for the 2022-2023 school year are currently open, and will close on June 15th, 2023.

What information do families have to provide when they apply?

 Caregivers provide:

  • Parent/Caregiver Information 
    • name, phone number, email address
  • Full Legal Student Information 
    • name, date of birth, grade, school district, school
  • Shipment Address
  • Book Interests
  • Book Language Preference

How can a school be added to the enrollment form?

If you are seeking to add a public or district-sponsored charter school to our program application, please email new.worlds@coe.ufl.edu with your school’s name and district. We will add it to the application upon verification with the district.

PROGRAM HELP QUESTIONS

How can a parent or caregiver change a student’s application information, like their address?

Email support@newworldsreading.com or call (855) 399-1147.
Our support team is available between 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. (EST), Monday - Friday.

How can a parent/caregiver unenroll a student?

Email support@newworldsreading.com or call (855) 399-1147.
Our support team is available to assist between 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. (EST), Monday - Friday EST.

BOOK QUESTIONS

How will books be delivered to students?

The New Worlds Reading Initiative delivers books directly to students’ homes through the mail. If circumstances require an alternative delivery method, the UF Lastinger Center will work with the school and/or district to identify an alternate plan. Email new.worlds@coe.ufl.edu

 

Our team will be happy to assist!

How will books be delivered to homeless/migrant/transient students?

If circumstances require an alternative delivery method, the UF Lastinger Center will work with the school and/or district to identify an alternate plan. Email new.worlds@coe.ufl.edu

 

Our team will be happy to assist!

 

Once my application is accepted, when will books start being delivered?

After you receive a confirmation email that your child is eligible and successfully enrolled, your first shipment of books may take several weeks to arrive. After your first shipment arrives, shipments will continue monthly through June.

How often will books be delivered?

Books are delivered on a monthly basis. Your child’s book shipments will begin after we verify their eligibility for the program, and you receive an email confirming your child’s enrollment. This process can take several weeks. Our program operates during the school year from October through June.

How many books will students receive each year?

Enrolled students will receive nine books per school year, no matter what month they were enrolled in. As a result, some students will receive shipments with more than one book to ensure nine books will arrive for that school year.

 

How will you determine the appropriate level of books for students?

Books are chosen in consultation with the Florida Department of Education’s Just Read, Florida! office, selected from the Florida B.E.S.T. Standards for each grade level. Additional titles are selected to meet the needs of students based on reading levels. Some titles will be selected that may be above the child’s reading level for caregivers to share with their children.

What kinds of books will be available?

Available books will include both fiction and nonfiction texts covering a wide variety of genres and topics to appeal to students’ interests. Books will be high-quality, age-appropriate and organized by grade and reading levels.

Will students and families get to choose their own books?

At this time, students and their families will have the opportunity to select the genres and topics of books they would like to receive; however, they will not be able to request a specific book title. Each genre will include a number of books that represent a variety of topics, characters, settings, and stories.

What languages are available?

Books are available in English, Spanish, Haitian Creole, and braille.

What formats are available to accommodate exceptional learners?

We are working diligently to make this program as inclusive as possible. Alternative book formats will be offered as available with plans for continued expansion.

SCHOOL AND DISTRICT QUESTIONS

What information should the district collect internally for eligible students?

Please collect student name, school, grade, and performance data indicating eligibility.

How can a district obtain enrollment data?

Please email support@newworldsreading.com or call (855) 399-1147. Our support team is available to assist on Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. EST.

What information/marketing materials are provided to school districts?

An initial marketing toolkit has been provided to school districts containing both hard copy and digital assets including, but not limited to:

  • phone scripts for use with eligible families
  • email and newsletter messaging to use when communicating with schools
  • email and newsletter messaging for schools and teachers to use with families promotional flyers
  • social media assets

How will information be shared with schools?

The UF Lastinger Center is working with a New Worlds Reading Initiative Contact in each school district to disseminate information to schools. The Lastinger Center will also communicate directly with schools to provide marketing materials, troubleshoot application processes, and assist on a case-by-case basis.

How can a district and/or school order additional promotional flyers?

Please contact us at new.worlds@coe.ufl.edu and provide the school name and number of flyers.

What happens if a school did not receive any flyers?

Please contact us at new.worlds@coe.ufl.edu and we can check our shipment tracking to determine whether flyers were ever sent to the school. If not, we will order flyers. If a shipment was sent, we will provide the tracking information to help the school locate the flyers.