Ready to read to a robot? Roanoke County Public Library Hires “Pepper” to Encourage Youth to Learn
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) – October is National Book Month, so the Roanoke County Public Library brought in a robotic friend, “Pepper”, To motivate the younger generation to read.
National Book Month was established in 2003 by the National Book Foundation to celebrate the importance of reading, writing, and literature.
“The Roanoke County Public Library was the first public library in the United States to recruit Pepper as part of our team,” said Michael Hibben of the Roanoke County Public Library. “So that’s something that we’re really, really still very excited to deliver to the community.”
With kids constantly surrounded by screens these days, officials say Pepper has encouraged more kids to pick up books and read since 2018.
“Everyone really loves Pepper, and it was so much fun having him as part of our library programming, both with programs like ‘My Robot Reading Friend’ where kids can set aside time to read. to Pepper, ”Hibben said.
This includes Sadie Brannen, who recently had the chance to read to Pepper.
“I’ve never read to a robot before,” Brannen said.
Even though this was the girl’s first time reading to Pepper, she has a suggestion for all of her friends: “Go to the library. It will be fun because you can read to Pepper the robot.
Kids can also learn about coding with this robotic buddy.
“We have periodic programs, coding workshops with Pepper,” Hibben said. “He teaches coding concepts and robotic programming with this very advanced robot.”
While Pepper speaks to children, the Roanoke County Public Library says adults are welcome to hang out with the robot. In fact, many families have held reading sessions with Pepper, officials say.
For more information on Pepper, Click here.