Faced with an ongoing trend of low reading and math scores among Nevada students and falling school enrollment rates, accelerating early learning has become one of the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District’s most urgent priorities.
To help boost these critical skills, the Library District is putting a new kid-friendly educational tool into the hands of students in our community.
Using grant funds, the Library District has purchased more than 1,000 tablets that are preloaded with educational apps, videos, storybooks, and games for kids up to age 8. The Playaway Launchpads Learning Tablets are 100% secure, do not require an internet connection, and are FREE to check out at all 25 of the District’s branches.
“According to the Children’s Advocacy Alliance, less than 40% of young children in Clark County are enrolled in preschool,” said Kelvin Watson, executive director of the Las Vegas Clark-County Library District. “Research shows that academic and learning gaps are most effectively reduced when children enter school with learning skills and confidence. Our new Launchpads work without a WiFi connection, so they help to bridge the digital divide for families that don’t have internet access. These devices teach basic technology skills with free, accessible, anytime learning and are a wonderful tool for parents, care givers, and child care providers.”
As with all library materials, Launchpads are FREE, and can be checked-out for three weeks at a time from any of the Library District’s rural and urban branches. The apps focus on a variety of learning levels, and have five subject areas designed to promote multiple areas of growth: Math & Science, Language, Music, Social/Emotional Literacy, and Motor Skills.
Previously, as director at Broward County Libraries (BCL) in Florida, Watson faced similar low pre-school enrollment rates and low test scores. To address this, he introduced the Launchpad program to six libraries, and received an overwhelming response. Because of this demand, he added 12 additional branches within one year. Using his experience at BCL as a guide, Watson ensured that all 25 Las Vegas-Clark County Library District branches received Launchpads at the start of the program.
“The Launchpads are way for us to bring the library to where our customers are, by providing parents and kids with a tool that delivers both learning skills and tech literacy in one device,” Watson said.
The Launchpad project was funded in entirety by a $140,000 grant provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Nevada State Library, Archives and Public Records.
About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grant making, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
About Las Vegas-Clark County Library District
The award-winning Las Vegas-Clark County Library District is an independent taxing entity that serves a diverse community across 8,000 square miles. Through its 25 branches and website, the Library District offers a collection of 3.2 million items consisting of books, movies, music (including streaming and downloadable), online resources, as well as free programs for all ages.
The Library District is a vibrant and vital member of the community offering limitless learning; business and career advancement; government and social services support; and best of all, a place where customers find a sense of culture and community. For more information, please visit LVCCLD.org.