St. Louis County Library Provides Educational Devices to Two Local School Districts

St. Louis County Library is providing 221 PBS Kids Playtime Pads to two local school districts to help families with young children keep learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Each device comes pre-loaded with PBS content, including video clips, songs, educational games and apps. Families do not need internet access to use the Playtime Pads. The devices will be checked out to the Ritenour and Hancock Place School Districts. Each district will provide them to eligible families in the Early Childhood Centers.

Hancock Place Elementary School (9101 S. Broadway, Lemay, MO, 63125) will distribute their supply of Playtime Pads on Wednesday, April 29 from 9:00-10:30 a.m. Ritenour will distribute their devices at a later date. MEDIA ARE INVITED TO ATTEND.

Many families in the region are struggling to keep kids engaged and learning during the pandemic, particularly households with no internet access. The Playtime Pads provide accessible educational content without an internet connection. St. Louis County Library is part of the COVID-19 Regional Response Team. As the Lead Agency for Remote Learning and Technology, the Library has worked with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary  Education, area superintendents and educators, community partners and the Nine Network to identify new ways to assist area families during this challenging time.

St. Louis County Library Director Kristen Sorth said, “We are so thankful to the St. Louis County Library Foundation for supporting our efforts to assist area children while school is closed due to COVID-19. We want to thank the Nine Network for being such a fantastic community partner as well as Ritenour and Hancock Place School Districts for piloting these devices with young learners at their early childhood centers. We know this is a challenging time for area families.  St. Louis County Library is providing the PBS Playtime pads to assist our youngest learners with staying on track for kindergarten.”

Dr. Tim McInnis, Assistant Superintendent of Schools, said, “The Hancock Place School District is extremely fortunate to have such outstanding educational partners in the Nine Network of Public Media and the St. Louis County Library. We are grateful to our partners for reaching out to the families of our youngest learners during this challenging time and providing the PBS Playtime Pads as a resource that all of our families can use, regardless of internet access. Putting the devices into the hands of these little ones, will arguably be their first opportunity to experience the joy of learning in this manner.”

Dr. Mike LaChance, Ritenour School District’s assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, said, “Ritenour students at every level continue to reap the rewards of St. Louis County Library’s generosity when it comes to resources that enhance their learning. The library’s donation of the Playtime Pads will provide our incoming kindergartners from the Ritenour School for Early Childhood Education and our English learner preschoolers a fun and meaningful way to enhance their kindergarten readiness skills over the summer. After the summer is over, these devices will go back into our preschool classrooms and give more preschoolers the opportunity to use them.”

The St. Louis County Library Foundation provided funding for the Playtime Pads, as part of their COVID-19 response support, which also includes emergency diaper and meal distribution at several St. Louis County Library branches.

For more information about the Playtime Pad lending program, please contact St. Louis County Library Communications Manager Jennifer McBride at jmcbride@slcl.org.