WKAR Begins Gifting PBS KIDS Playtime Pads To Hundreds of Lansing Kindergartners

Nov 13, 2017

Soon, a thousand Lansing kindergartners will literally have an exciting new education tool in their hands thanks to WKAR and MSU’s College of Communication Arts and Sciences. 

It was like Christmas AND the first day of class at Lansing’s Kendon Elementary school.

WKAR Director of Broadcasting Susi Elkins talking with students at Kendon Elementary School in Lansing.
Credit Amanda Pinckney / WKAR-MSU

On Monday, Dozens of young eyes were on WKAR Director of Broadcasting Susi Elkins as she revealed a big gift. Each kindergartner received a box containing a PBS KIDS Playtime Pads.

The digital tablets are specially designed with interactive programs to help young children learn math. 

Michigan State University and WKAR are making the pads available to a thousand kindergartners in the Lansing school district this year.. for free.

Robert Floden, Dean of MSU's College of Education said researchers will track the students’ learning progress with the tablets.

It just shows how comfortable students are with technology. - LaDonna Mask, principal

"It allows us to compare those who are using an application to those who aren’t. To understand how the application helps them learn," said Floden.

Kendon elementary school principal LaDonna Mask says the PBS Playtime pads will make a major difference for her students.

“To see them open the boxes for the first time... to see students that already figured out how to use the camera on some of them. It just shows how comfortable students are with technology," said Mask. "I think it’s going to open the doors for student learning to have that kind of technology at their fingertips all the time."

Kendon Elementary was the first school in Lansing to receive the PBS KIDS Playtime Pads.

In total.. a thousand tablets will be given to Lansing kindergartners by December.

Children at Kendon Elementary School on the day of the PBS KIDS Playtime play pads on the day of the giveaway.
Credit Amanda Pinckney / WKAR Public Media