MCCLELLANVILLE, S.C. (WCBD) – Students at two Charleston County School District (CCSD) schools are being tutored by eight Abii robots, thanks to a grant from Van Robotics.
The robots are designed to help students in grades one through six through one on one intervention. Students each get a unique log in and the robots provide personalized instruction. Additionally, the robots “detect attention spans and refocus children by dancing and singing.”
The robots — each worth about $1,000 — were originally awarded to St. James-Santee Elementary-Middle School Career & Technology Education Teacher Latoya Bennett. Bennett partnered with reading interventionist Kimberly Snipe to integrate the robots into the learning process.
Bennett said that the kids love working with the robots and “don’t want to put the robots away when their intervention time is up.”
Snipe said that instructors are already seeing improvements thanks to the robots.
Fourth grader Vincent Simmons says that he was failing in reading before the robots, and since he began working with them, his reading has gone up significantly. In addition to helping academically, the robots have helped him socially. Simmons says that he talks more and has made more friends thanks to the new program.
His classmate Dontay Brown said that studying with the robots makes him feel good because of their positive reinforcement. If he gets a question wrong, the robots “say something to make [him] feel better,” and he is encouraged to keep going.
Since all eight robots were not needed at St. James-Santee, some were donated to Stono Park Elementary School.