Preschoolers at Dorothy B. Johnson Center “Show and Tell” ApSeed Touchpad with NC Sen. Michael Lee

April 18, 2024   ●   by Julie Morrow

(Wilmington, NC) Preschoolers at a Wilmington education center wowed NC Sen. Michael Lee (District 7) as they showed off their knowledge while using the ApSeed pre-K touchpad. Each device is pre-loaded with interactive educational app games that teach letters, numbers, shapes, and colors. These essential skills are needed for kindergarten readiness because they build the foundation for learning how to read.

NC-based nonprofit ApSeed and its partner New Hanover County Schools (NHCS) hosted Sen. Lee during a visit to the Dorothy B. Johnson Pre-K Center on March 12. The legislator enjoyed watching the children demonstrate how they use the ApSeed educational touchpads.

Sen. Lee also sat down for an engaging discussion with several parents whose children have received a touchpad. The families shared the powerful impact these games have on their child’s progress toward kindergarten readiness.

“To be ready for Kindergarten, children need to know letters, numbers, shapes, and colors,” says Dr. Trish Cook, executive director of federal programs for New Hanover County Schools. “ApSeed’s touchpad is such a helpful tool because its games help preschoolers learn those basic skills in such an entertaining and enjoyable way.”

Over the past ten months, ApSeed has distributed 650 touchpads to preschoolers in New Hanover County. Each touchpad is provided to children at no cost – a value of $163.50 each – to use in the classroom and to take home to build on those skills outside of school time. Also, these devices do not connect to the internet and they don’t have a camera, making them as safe as possible for young learners.

In 2022, thanks to a $2.5M grant from the NC Dept. of Public Instruction (DPI), ApSeed was able to provide 12,000 pre-K touchpads to children in 17 counties throughout North Carolina. But that was a one-time grant so ApSeed is actively looking for more public and private funders to meet the growing need.

“ApSeed educational touchpads make kindergarten-readiness fun,” says ApSeed Executive Director, Dr. Julie Morrow. “They are designed specifically to help preschool-aged children become better prepared to start kindergarten by teaching them the foundations of literacy.”

ApSeed partners with childcare providers, school districts, and local or state agencies, to distribute take-home touchpads to any preschool-aged child, but especially to those in federally-sponsored Pre-K, Title 1, and Head Start programs or who are served by the WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) supplemental nutrition program.

Since 2016, the organization has delivered more than 25,000 touchpads – free of charge – to children in North and South Carolina, New York City, and even as far away as Zimbabwe.

“Every child deserves to succeed,” says ApSeed founder, Greg Alcorn. “ApSeed pre-K touchpads boost kindergarten readiness, which can dramatically improve the academic trajectory and the economic mobility of our youngest learners.”

Julie Morrow

Julie Morrow