Scholarships for Public Elementary School Students Needing Academic Support

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Building Stronger Learners

Reading and math skills provide a foundation for academic success starting at an early age. Students who struggle early in their academic career may continue to struggle to reach their full learning potential. New Worlds Scholarship Accounts enable early intervention to support students in moving ahead.

The program benefits students in grades K-5 by providing families with access to an education savings account (ESA) of $500 to pay for programs and materials designed to boost reading and math skills.

Who Is Eligible

New Worlds Scholarship Accounts are available to students who are enrolled in a Florida Public School in grades K-5 who:

  • Have a substantial reading deficiency or exhibits characteristics of dyslexia as identified under s. 1008.25(5)
  • Or scored below a Level 3 on the statewide, standardized English Language Arts (ELA) assessment in the prior school year.
  • Or have a substantial deficiency in mathematics or the characteristics of dyscalculia as identified under s. 1008.25(6)
  • Or scored below a Level 3 on the statewide, standardized Mathematics assessment in the prior school year.

An eligible student who is classified as an English Language Learner and is enrolled in a program or receiving services that are specifically designed to meet the instructional needs of English Language Learner students shall receive priority.

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New Worlds Scholarship Accounts
Parent Handbook

For more information on the New Worlds Scholarship Program, download the parent handbook.
Download the Handbook

How Does It Work?

New Worlds Scholarship Accounts provide access to an Education Savings Account (ESA). The ESA functions like a bank account with funds you can spend on educational resources.

Dollars from this scholarship must be used in ways that improve reading and/or math.

This includes:

  • Part-time tutoring in reading and math
  • Summer or after-school programs designed to improve reading or math skills
  • Curriculum or instructional materials, including books and some technology items

Pre-approved services and products are available through Step Up For Students' Education Market Assistant (EMA) Marketplace where families can use their scholarship dollars directly without having to pay out of pocket. Families also have the option to purchase services and products and submit a reimbursement claim through EMA.

  1. Apply for the scholarship through Step Up For Students EMA.
  2. If approved, Step Up For Students will notify you when your ESA funds are available.
  3. Login to the EMA portal to find pre-approved services and products. Payments to providers and vendors can be made directly from the ESA, or families can purchase pre-approved services and products for your student and request reimbursement through EMA.

For more information, please see the Parent Handbook.

Delivering a New World To You

New Worlds Reading is Florida’s FREE home reading program that mails eligible children a free book and activities each month during the school year through fifth grade. Families can choose what books they will receive when they apply, growing their home library based on their child’s interests to encourage a lifelong love of reading. The accompanying literacy resources and activities help children strengthen their skills and build reading confidence.

New Worlds Reading is administered by the UF Lastinger Center for Learning. Book titles are selected in partnership with Scholastic and approved by the Florida Department of Education. Books and materials are available in English, Spanish, Haitian Creole, and braille.

To be eligible, students must be either in a VPK program and not making age-appropriate progress according to state assessments or in K-5 in a public or charter school and not yet reading on grade level.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How much is the New Worlds Scholarship worth and how can it be used?

The scholarship is worth $500 and can be used for the following:

  • Tuition and fees for part-time tutoring provided by a person who holds a valid Florida educator’s certificate, a baccalaureate or graduate degree in Reading, Math, Elementary Education, English Education, or Math Education, an adjunct teaching certificate, or has demonstrated mastery of the subject area knowledge.
  • Fees for summer education programs designed to improve reading or math skills.
  • Fees for after-school education programs designed to improve reading or math skills.
  • Instructional materials, including desktop and laptop computers and tablets and curriculum related to reading or math.

To avoid upfront costs, New Worlds Scholarship families may choose one of Step Up For Students' direct-pay options. Our direct-pay options include part-time tutors, after-school and summer reading programs, and shopping for pre-approved items through the EMA.

New Worlds Scholarship families may also choose to pay out-of-pocket for approved goods and services. Families may then log in to EMA to submit a reimbursement request.

Please refer to the New Worlds Scholarship Accounts Handbook for more information.

How do I apply?

Please click here to apply for the New Worlds Reading Scholarship Accounts.

Families will need to first create an EMA account. Next, they will create their Guardian Profile. After that, families can add students to the "My Students" tab. Finally, parents can click on the "apply" button for the New Worlds Reading Scholarship.

Where can I find the New Worlds Scholarship Handbook?

Please click here for the 2023-24 New Worlds Scholarship Accounts Handbook.

What can I expect after I’ve applied for the New Worlds Scholarship?

Step Up For Students works with the Florida Department of Education to process applications. This process may take several weeks. Step Up will send application status updates to the email address associated with your EMA account. You may also log in to EMA to view the status of your application at any time.

Step Up For Students works with the State of Florida to fund New Worlds Scholarship Accounts after students are found eligible. This process may take several weeks. Step Up will send scholarship funding updates to the email address associated with your EMA account. You may also log in to EMA to view the status of your application at any time.

How can I view the balance of my student's New Worlds Scholarship Account?

Funded families may log into EMA anytime to view their student’s New Worlds Scholarship Account balance.