Fun FREE Learning Event for Families at the Putnam County Library
**WCTE and the Putnam County Library are hosting a series of Family Creative Learning Workshops on PBS Kids ScratchJr. These workshops are free and attendees will receive food and goodies. You may bring your own mobile device or they will be provided for families who attend.
Libraries may seem less relevant in the modern computer age, but it’s important to remember they are just as important now, if not more so than ever before. Not every home and not every family has access to the same technology. While some households have multiple smartphones, computers, and tablets, others may have none.
Did you know that children from disadvantaged homes are more likely to experience learning loss over the summer months than their peers from higher income homes? According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), twice as many fourth graders from low income households performed below the basic fourth grade level when compared to their peers from higher income households. Even fewer performed at a proficient level (13% from low income homes vs. 27% from higher income homes).
While students enjoy access to computers and online learning devices at school, not all are so lucky at home. Imagine trying to excel in school today without access to the internet in your home. It would be a daunting task for even the most dedicated student. Often times, the only resource a young student has to fill this gap is the local library. Especially in rural communities, the public library can be counted on for internet access, and it’s often the only option for children from low income homes.
With an estimated 120,000 libraries in the United States, it’s a safe bet that every kid in the country lives close to at least some kind of public library branch. These facilities are too valuable to our children’s future to be neglected or forgotten. Consider the mission statement from the New York Public Library:
“The mission of The New York Public Library is to inspire lifelong learning, advance knowledge, and strengthen our communities.”
That could be said of any library in the United States, no matter how big or small.
WCTE has partnered with the Putnam County Library, by providing mini iPads loaded with PBS Kids apps. These devices are available for use in the building and have been a popular addition to the library collection. One app that is especially great for kids is ScratchJr.
ScratchJr is an introductory programming language that enables young children (ages 5-7) to create their own interactive stories and games. Children snap together graphical programming blocks to make characters move, jump, dance, and sing. Children can modify characters in the paint editor, add their own voices and sounds, even insert photos of themselves -- then use the programming blocks to make their characters come to life.
ScratchJr was inspired by the popular Scratch programming language (http://scratch.mit.edu), used by millions of young people (ages 8 and up) around the world. In creating ScratchJr, we redesigned the interface and programming language to make them developmentally appropriate for younger children, carefully designing features to match young children's cognitive, personal, social, and emotional development. ScratchJr is available as a free app for both iPad and Android tablets. For more information about ScratchJr, see http://scratchjr.org.
WCTE and the Putnam County Library are hosting a series of Family Creative Learning Workshops on PBS Kids ScratchJr. These workshops are free and attendees will receive food and goodies. You may bring your own mobile device or they will be provided for families who attend.
Tune in each Saturday morning at 9:30 for the WCTE Get Ready To Learn Radio Show, with host Cindy Putman on Zimmer Broadcasting's The HUB 107.7 FM and 1400 AM.