• 37°

Editorial: Appleseed is planting possibilities

A bold experiment going on in Rowan County could have implications for early childhood learning in a much broader area.

It’s called the Appleseed Project, created by Greg and Missie Alcorn of Salisbury as a way to improve the lives of children in need. Some 65 percent of Rowan-Salisbury Schools’ youngest students are not ready for kindergarten. They start off far behind peers who have more advantages — and bigger vocabularies.

“And that never changes, they never catch up,” Greg Alcorn told a Post reporter last year. The gap affects their grades, their career and their future. “It ain’t fair,” Alcorn said, “so let’s make it fair. Let’s make it an even playing field.”

After a successful trial run involving 60 specially outfitted Kindles last year, Alcorn and crew recently distributed more than 500 Kindles to preschoolers in local Head Start programs. The electronic devices are loaded with programs targeting early literacy skills. The Kindles cannot be used to go on the internet or load other games. They are strictly for Appleseed, and they have nearly indestructible covers.

Feedback from the eight Head Starts so far is inspiring, according to Alcorn.

“Language improvements, increased social interaction, better motor skills, assigning apps for homework, geez, it’s terrific!” he said in an email to people who have been following Appleseed’s progress.   “We’re refining our research process with professional direction …. The texting of a link for survey questions is working nicely and saves time and money. Parents like it, too.”

Appleseed shows creativity, initiative and generosity. The Alcorns, successful entrepreneurs, started Appleseed with their own money. But fundraising is under way, because this program is primed  growth. Greg says the dream is to have enough research and money to roll out readers to all Rowan County children in need, from birth through age 4. If that succeeds, other communities will want Appleseed — a far more effective remedy than any kind of cash benefit. Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day, the old proverb says. Teach a child to read, and the possibilities are endless.

Comments

High School

Photo gallery: Carson girls win West Regional, headed to state championship

High School

High school basketball: Carson girls headed to state championship game

Local

Commissioners set date for public hearing on potential solar energy system rule changes

Health

Two of Rep. Sasser’s bills successfully pass through Health Committee

Local

Rep. Warren’s measure to allow removal of public notices from newspapers put on back burner

China Grove

China Grove Town Council weighs future of previously rejected housing development

Local

Salisbury City Council hears public comments, receives presentation on Main Street reconfiguration

Crime

Blotter: Man charged with felony drug offenses

Nation/World

California crash kills 13 of 25 people crammed into SUV

Nation/World

Biden vows enough vaccines by end of May

Coronavirus

State to vaccinate medically vulnerable starting March 24

Coronavirus

One new death, 20 new COVID-19 positives reported in Rowan

Kannapolis

Kannapolis man dies in moped crash

Crime

Salisbury Police chief addresses K-9 video, says officer separated from animal

Local

Rowan Rescue Squad sets record straight on fundraising typo

Local

City approves DOT agreement, Salisbury Station project could begin next year

Local

County plans to use vulture effigy, enforce violations to remedy animal carcass feeding problem

Education

Two weeks after ending enhanced protocols, Catawba has no COVID-19 cases

News

Council to hear revised version of Downtown Main Street Plan

Local

Veto override of NC school reopening bill fails in Senate

News

Political Notebook: Majority of likely voters, local legislators support school reopening bill

Coronavirus

COVID-19 vaccinations in Rowan top positives since start of pandemic

Crime

Man faces drug charges after breaking and entering call

Lifestyle

Waterworks schedules 2021 Summer ARTventures