ApSeed to expand to Davie County

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 4, 2018

SALISBURY — Local nonprofit group ApSeed is swiftly growing and will soon provide services in two counties.

Founder and CEO Greg Alcorn recently announced that the organization will provide 1,000 custom-built e-readers to day care centers

ApSeed is seeking to help at-risk children to age 4 be prepared for kindergarten and a lifetime of success by providing free e-readers equipped with books and literacy-learning tools.

Roughly 1,600 e-readers are in circulation in Rowan County, with 2,000 more “waiting in the wings” for launch, Alcorn said.

An expansion into Davie County was made possible by a grant from the Mebane Foundation, which has been a close partner of ApSeed since the literacy organization was launched in 2016. Alcorn said ApSeed’s first grant came from the Mebane Foundation.

But the group waited for results before committing further. Alcorn said board members wanted to see if ApSeed “was really going to have some legs to it.”

At a recent meeting, the foundation board approved the expansion.

“That was a little bit of a surprise, but a pleasant one,” Alcorn said.

ApSeed plans to distribute the free e-readers to pediatric centers, day care centers and WIC service points. Usage and performance data will be collected by text, email and linked surveys.

The partnership will also help speed up ApSeed’s data collection and has given the organization a new goal in both Davie and Rowan counties of raising kindergarten assessment pass rates to 90 percent. Davie County’s rate is currently 70 percent.

Distributed e-readers will be the new, custom-built tablets ApSeed switched to in early 2018. By going with a custom design, Alcorn said, the organization has reduced breakage from 30 percent annually when it was using modified Kindle Fire tablets to just over 3 percent.

“They’re doing great,” he said.

From here, Alcorn says rapid growth is in ApSeed’s future.

“The model is about to the point where we feel comfortable with its scalability,” he said.

Eventually, he said, he hopes ApSeed will be able to provide an e-reader to every at-risk child up to age 4 in Rowan County and beyond.

“Just wait; stay tuned,” he said.

Contact reporter Rebecca Rider at 704-797-4264.