Gianluca Mastroianni, 5, sits at an AWE Early Literacy Learning Station clicking away at a colorful interactive game. The keyboard is colorful and the desk is low — just the right size. What Gianluca doesn’t realize is that he is learning reading, math, writing and other skills along the way.
Ten new AWE Literacy Stations have been added to eight Sarasota County Libraries, making at least two AWE stations available at each library so children ages 2 to 8 can have fun and learn in the process.
There is usually a line of children waiting to play the interactive game at the library says Youth Services Librarian Grace Moore. She points out that these computer stations are great since the younger children do not have to compete with older children to play games online on other computer stations. It is also safer than a child being on a computer with access to the World Wide Web.
Children can choose from 60 interactive games on the station. And, since June 6, overall children have played 2,076 games averaging five hours on a computer per day. Moore says that children feel empowered being able to navigate through the computer system on their own.
The Library Foundation raised funds for the new stations. William G. Selby and Marie Selby Foundation gave a grant for $25,000 and donors gave a grant of $10,000 with Pinkerton Family Fund, the Siemer Family Fund and unrestricted donors matched with another $10,000.
“The stations are so overused so we are kicking off the celebration of 10 new stations,” said Library Manager Liz Nolan