For Release: Immediately
Department of External Affairs
Free Library of Philadelphia
1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710
FAX (215) 567-7850
Contact: Communications and Development
For Release: Immediately
Contact: Communications and Development

New Bilingual Preschool Computers Inspire Young Learners

PHILADELPHIA, March 3, 2008 - Chester-based company AWE has donated four new bilingual Spanish versions of its Early Literacy Station™ to the Parkway Central library of the Free Library of Philadelphia in honor of recently retired former Library President and Director Elliot L. Shelkrot, who served as head of the Free Library system from 1987 to 2007.

“AWE is delighted to be able to provide these four Bilingual Spanish Early Literacy Stations™ to Central in honor of Elliot Shelkrot’s retirement,” said company Co-Founder and Chief Customer Officer Steve Russell. “The Free Library of Philadelphia continues to build on the high-quality educational programs that Elliot and his team have developed over the last 20 years for their youngest patrons, and AWE is proud to be a part of these services to the community.”

AWE’s Early Literacy Stations™ are tailor-made educational workstations specifically designed for children ages three through eight years old. Each includes 34 software packages across seven curricular areas—all top rated by Children’s Technology Review—and is brightly colored, extra durable, and comes with a special mouse designed for smaller hands.

One hundred and sixteen Early Literacy Stations™ are located throughout the Free Library’s 53-branch system, and contain simple visual and audio cues for young learners but do not offer internet access, ensuring that children are only exposed to age-appropriate materials.

The Free Library of Philadelphia offers numerous services to non-English speakers and individuals for whom English is a second language, including ESL classes for adult learners, books and other materials in more than 50 languages, and bilingual early literacy training for parents of preschoolers. The bilingual Spanish features of the Parkway Central library’s new Early Literacy Stations are the first in the Free Library system.

“Information is an important commodity, even more so to people who are finding their way through a new culture,” said Free Library Interim President and Director Joseph McPeak. “The Free Library is working hard to offer increased services to Philadelphia’s immigrant, non-English-speaking, and ESL communities, and I thank AWE for these new bilingual Early Literacy Stations™, which will allow us to offer more technology-based learning opportunities to some of the Library’s youngest users.” 

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The Free Library of Philadelphia system consists of 49 branches, three regional libraries, the Parkway Central library, and the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.  With more than six million visits annually, the Free Library is one of the most widely-used educational and cultural institutions in Philadelphia.


Department of External Affairs, Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710, FAX (215) 567-7850