Towards the entrance of the Downtown Main Library’s Children’s Library stand two giant yellow and blue “crayons”. Attached to each crayon are four iPads and four sets of headphones.
But these aren’t ordinary iPads. Each one is programmed with games and activities that promote early childhood literacy. There are fun reading apps to learn sounds, phonics, spelling and more.
When technology is such an integral part of our daily lives, it can be easy to forget that many families simply don’t have access to devices like iPads, tablets, or laptop computers. Krayon Kiosks provide tech equity, allowing kids who might not otherwise encounter an iPad not only to learn about this modern technology but also gain valuable literacy education in the process.
Krayon Kiosks in the Avondale, College Hill, and Walnut Hills branch libraries, as well as in the Downtown Main Library’s Children’s Library Learning Center are made possible by a generous $10,000 donation from Betsy and John LaMacchia to the Library Foundation of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.
Mrs. LaMacchia has served as a trustee of the Library since 1998. She served on the Board of Directors for the Friends of the Public Library, chairing numerous fundraisers.
“Early childhood literacy is vital to the mission of the Library,” says Paula Brehm-Heeger, the Eva Jane Romaine Coombe Library Director. “The Krayon Kiosks are a fun and safe way to introduce young children to the joy of reading and other educational activities. It’s wonderful to watch our young cardholders discover a love of learning through this tool.”
It is the Library’s intention to install Krayon Kiosks at the branch libraries in Bond Hill, Covedale, Delhi Township, Forest Park, Green Township, Groesbeck, Harrison, Madeira, Madisonville, Monfort Heights, North Central, Northside, Norwood, Pleasant Ridge, Reading, Sharonville, St. Bernard, Symmes Township, Westwood and the West End.
“The children here at Avondale love any new technology we get at the Branch", says Avondale Branch Manager Kaya Burgin. "The Librarians love hearing the kids counting and singing their ABCs with the videos. The parents love that they can work on their documents and have a set place for their children's 'edutainment' (education and entertainment combined). The children especially enjoy YouTube Kids and Toca Kitchen, a cooking game."
The Library is committed to providing equitable access to both technology and early learning tools. Krayon Kiosks provide kids from all walks of life just that.