West End children receive ApSeed pre-K touchpads

Published 12:10 am Friday, June 28, 2024

SALISBURY — Who says learning can’t be fun?

The Salisbury-based nonprofit ApSeed continued its distribution of additional custom-built pre-K educational touchpads with three events throughout June.

The touchpads were given out free of charge to Rowan County families with pre-K-aged children.

Forty of the touchpads were funded thanks to a $5,850 West End grant (Byrne Criminal Justice Initiative grant) distributed by the Rowan County United Way. ApSeed also partnered with Communities In Schools of Rowan County for the distribution events and to promote them through the Rowan County Housing Authority.

Grant sourcing and other fundraising avenues conducted by ApSeed made the distribution of additional touchpads possible.

“We are grateful for the West End grant that provided 40 ApSeed pre-K touchpads and excited we could give out an additional 40 touchpads, thanks to public funding plus private grants and donors,” ApSeed Executive Director Dr. Julie Morrow said.

But what is an ApSeed pre-K touchpad exactly?

The touchpads are loaded with interactive educational apps that help prepare preschoolers for kindergarten.
Each touchpad at these events comes with a Readiness Kit, which is a backpack filled with supplies and tools to complement the touchpad. These items teach fine motor/dexterity skills not covered by the touchpad’s apps, such as scissor usage, building blocks, a book, and a whiteboard with markers.

“The ApSeed pre-K educational touchpads make kindergarten-readiness fun,” Morrow said. “These touchpads are designed specifically to help preschool-aged children become better prepared to start kindergarten by teaching them the foundations of literacy — letters and sounds, numbers, shapes and colors.”

Also, these touchpads do not connect to the internet, and they don’t have cameras, making them as safe as possible for young learners.

“Every child deserves to succeed,” ApSeed Founder Greg Alcorn said. “That’s precisely why ApSeed created these educational touchpads. We are disrupting any educational delays caused by poverty, helping the youngest learners grow and bloom.”

This month’s event brings the total number of touchpads distributed in Rowan County in the past year to nearly 1,200.

Even though they are distributed for free, each touchpad costs ApSeed $163.50 to manufacture and distribute. ApSeed’s goal is to get these custom-built touchpads in the hands of all preschoolers to boost kindergarten readiness. Since 2016, the organization has delivered more than 27,000 ApSeed pre-K touchpads — free of charge — to children in North and South Carolina, New York City, and even as far away as Zimbabwe.