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Using play to get kids reading

Peninsula Public Library installs educational game kiosk


Peninsula Public Library is using technology in an effort to encourage kids to read as it installed a crayon kiosk, an educational iPad, in the children’s room last month with the help of $20,000 that was provided by State Sen. Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre).

Produced by Aridan Books, a Long Island-based company that creates reading apps for kids, the kiosk, which takes the form of a yellow crayon, has four iPads and corresponding headphones and chairs. Each iPad is installed with multiple reading and learning applications.

Library Director Karen Porcella, said that the kiosk will, “promote educational learning through interactive play.” “Technology is very popular now,” said Porcella, when asked what prompted her to purchase the kiosk. “Children’s computer programs encourage them to read, and we’re very into literacy.”

The suggested age range for use of the kiosk is two years and older, but Carolynn Matulewicz, the children’s librarian at the library in Lawrence, has seen adults also playing on the kiosk.

“The feedback has been so positive,” she said. “[The apps] cover a wide range of subjects like reading, spelling and geography.”

Skelos visited the library on Aug. 6 to see the kiosk. He donates often to local libraries, he said, because of their critical role in educating children. “It’s important to encourage young people to come to libraries,” he said. “By keeping our kids reading, we are preparing them for college, grad school and ultimately, preparing them to enter into the professional world.”

The library also used the money to purchase two radio frequency identification pads, which, Porcella said, helps speed up the check-out process for books and other items, especially on PPL’s busy days.

Later that day, the Jinhashuili siblings Jonah, 7, Noa, 6, and Dalia, 5, were using the kiosk. Jonah said he like playing the Lego Marvel superheroes. “I like chasing the bad guys,” he said. Learning that crime doesn’t pay, but spending time at the library could pay off.