Philly preschoolers learn with tablets while schools remain closed

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) —  Hundreds of tablets are now in the hands of Philadelphia students — specifically, toddlers.

Since the state closed schools to prevent the spread of coronavirus, staffers from the Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha (APM) dropped off tablets — keeping a social distance, of course — to the homes of more than 600 3- to 5-year-olds, who would normally be at one of the nonprofit's four preschool centers between West Kensington and Hunting Park.

The children will now not only be able to connect with their teachers live, but explore on their own.

“Each of the tablets has educational apps on it,” said Dr. Donald Price, APM vice president for education, training and supportive housing. “They'll come preloaded with those apps, and they will receive a lesson plan and activities so that they can go through the activities with their families.”

Price said it's critical for young children to continue to learn in their early years, when their brains are absorbing so much information. 

TruMark Financial Credit Union helped fund the tablets, and T-Mobile is providing students with free internet for six months. 

On Monday afternoon, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf expanded his stay-at-home order through at least April 30, and he announced all schools will remain closed until further notice.

Price added the tablets are the childrens' to keep.