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New for Summer or Back to School: Fundations® Ready to Rise ®

Image of child learning from Ready to Rise

Fundations educators throughout the country will soon have access to a new program for young students in need of summer reading support or an intensive boost at the start of the new school year: Fundations Ready to Rise®

The goal of Ready to Rise® is to look forward and identify key skills needed for success in the next grade level—not to cover all past content. This emphasis on the future, combined with Fundations’ scaffolded instruction and built-in review, ensures students will be ready for the academic year ahead. 

The program is available in two levels. Students currently in kindergarten who will be in first grade during the 2021–2022 school year may participate in the Ready to Rise® program for Rising First Graders. The Ready to Rise® program for Rising Second Graders is geared toward students currently in first grade who will be advancing to second grade this fall. 

This 20-day, in-person foundational skills program targets key decoding, transcription, and fluency skills to prepare students, including English language learners and struggling readers, for the next Level of Fundations.

Ready to Rise® utilizes a 90-minute lesson format divided into three 30-minute components: Word Study, Transcription, and Application & Fluency Skills. The Word Study component targets phonemic awareness, the alphabetic principle, sound and word accuracy/automaticity, and high frequency word recognition. The Transcription Skills component addresses letter formation/automaticity, spelling, and sentence dictation/punctuation. Lastly, the Application & Fluency Skills component focuses on the application of decoding and encoding skills and provides fluency instruction with connected text.

All three components may be taught by one teacher, or students can move sequentially to “stations” with a different instructor for each component of the curriculum.  

If Fundations materials are already on hand, only the Fundations Ready to Rise® Teacher Guide and Student Practice booklet for the selected level need to be purchased. Please see our website for a complete list of the minimum teacher and student materials needed to implement the program.

The Ready to Rise® approach to instruction aligns with that advocated by Dr. David Steiner, Executive Director of the John Hopkins Institute for Education Policy and Professor of Education at John Hopkins University. In his webinar, Addressing Learning Loss through Acceleration: A Conversation with David Steiner, he suggests that teachers of summer programs:  

  • identify what should be learned at a given level to prepare for the next level;
  • avoid including everything that should have been learned in the past; 
  • stress the most important skills and knowledge for a specific topic; 
  • concentrate on the minimum skills and knowledge required to adequately access the next grade level’s materials; 
  • implement structured programming so students succeed with current grade-level content; 
  • ready students for new learning in the next grade; 
  • address past concepts and content in context of students’ current learning; and 
  • engage students in learning forward, not looking backward.

To accomplish these tasks, Dr. Steiner recommends:

  • identifying a small number of key skills and core knowledge essential for the next school year’s success.  
  • focusing on the mastery of those key skills.  
  • assessing students to determine progress toward that mastery.

With purposefully selected and structured content, Ready to Rise® helps teachers organize for and accomplish the accelerated learning described by Dr. Steiner.  

To further support teachers, a virtual, three-hour Ready to Rise® Workshop is available. The workshop provides a review of the program schedule and activities as well as an overview of the day-by-day Teacher Guide, which contains detailed instructions for delivering the program successfully.  

Individuals with Fundations teaching experience who have attended a Fundations Introductory or Launch Workshop are prepared to instruct students in this new curriculum. However, by taking part in the Ready to Rise® Workshop and using the helpful Teacher Guide, other educators and tutors can also be prepared to teach the program.

“We developed the Ready to Rise® Program to help teachers instruct their rising first and second graders with a laser focus so their students can master key foundational skills in preparation for their upcoming year,” said Author and Co-founder, Barbara A. Wilson. 

Visit the Fundations Ready to Rise® page of our website or the Wilson Store to learn more. 


National Association of State Boards of Education. (2021, February 11). Addressing learning loss through acceleration: A conversation with David Steiner.