ApSeed: Encouraging literacy from an early start

In a recent interview, Alcorn said, “My value at the State Board level I think had run its course. It’s the opposite with ApSeed. It’s calling on more effort and attention…[At ApSeed] I can have a more significant impact. With all the legal and political challenges in Raleigh, that’s not my style.” 

Alcorn landed on the seedling after learning about Hart and Risley’s research on the 30 million word gap, which found that the average child in a socio-economically disadvantaged family hears 30 million fewer words by age three. After seeing his colleague Erik Lipscomb’s children with a Kindle fire, Alcorn decided he wanted all children, especially disadvantaged children, to have what he calls a pre-reader.  

“It’s turned out that this isn’t a reader,” Alcorn said. “It’s a pre-reader. It doesn’t teach the child how to read. It teaches the child how to learn to read.” 


Thacher Shields