P.L.A.N.E.T. opening celebration at Washington Park Branch Library

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WHAT: Washington Park Branch Library to host a grand opening celebration for the P.L.A.N.E.T. multimedia center for kids, tweens and teens. At the heart of P.L.A.N.E.T., which stands for Play and Learn Area for New Educational Technology, are five new iPad Pro tablets loaded with apps and educational content. Each iPad will be a handheld library with virtual activities for enrichment, enjoyment and education. Filling out the virtual playground are PCs, Xboxes and an AWE Early Literacy Station™. The Washington Park Library team has plans to supplement free play and discovery on the iPads with structured workshops for kids and teens on topics like mixing music and creating interactive greeting cards. The grand opening will feature a demonstration, activities and free refreshments.

WHERE: Orange County Library System’s Washington Park Branch, 5151 Raleigh St. Suite A
WHEN: Friday, September 30, 11 a.m.-12 p.m. All ages welcome, registration required. To register, email washingtonpark@ocls.info or call 407-835-7323.

WHY: The Washington Park Branch serves the Carver Shores and Metrowest areas of Orlando. More than 25 percent of the residents in this area have incomes below the poverty level, and many of the kids who use the library do not have access to high-end technology and devices. This installation, which gives kids in these underserved neighborhoods an opportunity to play and learn using the latest devices, helps bridge the digital divide. It will be the first of its kind for this location and a valuable asset to the community.

“Libraries have always provided access to relevant resources,” says Washington Park Library Branch Manager Matthew David. “PLANET is a terrific continuation of our pursuit to strike the right balance for our users, especially our kids, who often do not have access to smart phones or other 21st century tech. They deserve a chance to be explorers.”

P.L.A.N.E.T. opening celebration at Washington Park Branch LibraryP.L.A.N.E.T. opening celebration at Washington Park Branch Library