Instilling strong reading habits in children builds successful adults and the Early Learning Coalition of Pasco and Hernando Counties understands that. It also recognize that technology plays an important role in getting children excited about reading.
For that reason, the ELC collaborated with the library systems in both counties to provide e-readers, cases and e-books of classic children’s stories.
The 24 Kindle Fire HDX cases and e-books this month were delivered to the Spring Hill Branch of the Hernando County Library system. The branch opened specifically to receive the Kindles and recognize the Early Learning Coalition for its support of literacy in children.
“Our effort was to get technology into the hands of children,” said community-at-large board member Jean Rags, who was the mastermind behind the project, presenting her idea to the ELC in January.
The ELC agreed. As stated by its executive director, Jim Farrelly, “It helped extend the ELC into the libraries, giving children an opportunity to use the e-readers. It was a win-win for everyone.”
While the libraries already had computers available for use, computers can be intimidating to young children. Farrelly added: “The e-readers are perfect for very young readers. And there is nothing else included on the Kindles except classic stories that appeal to children.”
The Kindles will be distributed to all branches of the Hernando County library system with each library receiving at least six complete Kindles.
The Early Learning Coalition of Pasco and Hernando Counties is one of 30 in Florida whose mission is to prepare children to enter and succeed in school. They have oversight of Florida’s Voluntary Pre-kindergarten (VPK) program for all children who turn 4 years old on or before Sept. 1.
The nonprofit organization merged both counties in 2005, providing services for more than 9,000 children from infancy through age 8.
For Hernando County, the donation of e-readers by the Early Learning Coalition of Pasco and Hernando Counties is another step toward building a strong community of readers through the most updated form of technology.