Library computer stations help children with literacy skills

There are six early literacy skills that every child should know before they start school, and the Public Library of Steubenville and Jefferson County has purchased interactive, touch-screen computer stations that support these skills.

Early Literacy Station is a computer for children ages 2-8. It contains preloaded games and activities that cover all the curriculum areas in reading, music, science and art. The six early literacy skills that it supports are letter knowledge; narrative skills such as the ability to describe things; phonological awareness or the ability to hear and play with the sounds in words; print motivation such as a child’s interest in books; vocabulary; and print awareness, such as following the written word on a page.

According to Misty Teasdale, the library’s children’s services coordinator, the computers are not connected to the Internet and are easy for children to use, so parents and the library assistants aren’t needed to walk them through each activity.

“Children regularly visit the library to use these computers,” Teasdale said. “The library has provided this service for about five years. The new computers are upgraded and offer touch screen. The children love this new feature,” she said, adding that the computers are a great way to introduce children to computers while enforcing early literacy skills.

Eleven Early Literacy Stations were purchased by the library from the AWE Digital Learning Solutions. There are two stations at the main library and at the Toronto branch. The Schiappa branch houses three stations, and the branches of Adena, Brilliant, Dillonvale-Mount Pleasant and Tiltonsville each have one station.