Harford County Public Library named Innovator of the Year for its Little Leapers preschool STEM program


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The Daily Record recently named Harford County Public Library an Innovator of the Year for the second consecutive year for its Little Leapers program that involves preschoolers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education. Here are the details:




The Daily Record has named Harford County Public Library an Innovator of the Year for the second year in a row. The library is being recognized for Little Leapers 3.5, a program launched earlier this year to help bridge the digital divide for children.

Last year, Harford County Public Library was honored with an Innovator of the Year Award for Little Leapers. Little Leapers are pre- and early-literacy kits focusing on STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education for kids 5 years of age and younger. Little Leapers 3.5 is the next step, and the program offers its youngest patrons the opportunity to use 34 iPad minis located in the children’s departments of the Edgewood, Aberdeen and Abingdon branches plus the Rolling Reader and Silver Reader.

The Daily Record began the Innovator of the Year awards in 2002 as a way to recognize Marylanders and Maryland-based companies for their innovative spirit – for creating new products, new programs, new services or new processes that have helped their companies, industries or communities.

For this year’s honorees, their innovative achievements took place between January 2013 and July 2014.

Innovator of the Year nominees were asked to complete an application that explained their innovation and the impact it has made on Maryland. The nominations were judged on four basic criteria: originality, impact, challenge and value.

“This year’s Innovators of the Year are on the cutting edge. They represent the best of Maryland in diverse fields such as technology, education, health care and community work,” said Suzanne Fischer-Huettner, publisher of The Daily Record. “They make the extraordinary, ordinary and the impossible, possible. We applaud their innovative spirit and accomplishments.”

Mary Hastler, director of the Harford County Public Library, said, “I am so honored and humbled that Harford County Public Library is being recognized by The Daily Record as an Innovator of the Year two years in a row. Little Leapers 3.5 is a program we developed to help children increase their digital literacy. The program is engaging young minds in science, technology, reading, engineering, arts and math, and the feedback from children and parents alike has been overwhelmingly positive. Receiving an award for this program recognizes the importance of digital literacy for the library’s youngest patrons.”

The 2014 Innovator of the Year awards will be presented Oct. 15 at a reception/dinner starting at 5:30 p.m. at the American Visionary Art Museum, 800 Key Highway in Baltimore. Winners will be profiled in a special magazine that will be inserted into the Oct. 17 issue of The Daily Record and available online at www.TheDailyRecord.com.