Sproutkin, co-founded by a Cupertino High School grad, is a new online book delivery and education service developed to take the guessing out of the book selection game for parents challenged with choosing between thousands of children’s books published yearly.
The business puts together “Sproutkits” which are themed book selections that include up to 10 books along with a curriculum and activity card that provides questions related to the books to engage children, as well as suggested activities to go along with the theme.
For example one Sproutkit may have a space theme and a suggested activity may be to make a rocket ship out of an empty toilet paper roll along with questions related to planets. A cooking or food theme Sproutkit may include the book “Bread and Jam for Frances” and the curriculum card would include easy recipes kids can make.
Co-founder and Cupertino High graduate, Alda Leu Dennis, says it was her business partner with a young daughter who came up with the idea.
“Her daughter was pre-school age and she spent a lot of time picking out books,” Dennis says.
Between brick-and-mortar bookstores, online stores or the library parents have literally thousands of book choices. Deciding which books will be most appealing to a little one can be daunting. Plus bookstores are harder to come by and library hours in many cities have been cut due to budget restrictions. Cupertino Library is an exception to that thanks to the City’s commitment to residents to keep regular hours, and a strong Cupertino Library Foundation that helps with funding.
The monthly cost for the service is $25 for unlimited Sproutkits, and Sproutkin is offering Cupertino residents a free monthly trial. New customers need only enter tinosprout in the coupon/gift code box on checkout.
Sproutkins also has gift certificate option for those wishing to give the service as a gift.
The unlimited model guarantees children will never be without books, Dennis says.
Sproutkins is aimed at the age 3 to 6 group now, but is already talking about expanding that in the future as well as branching out into foreign language books, and digital readers.
An educational advisory board made up of teachers and school administrators helps select the books and develop the curriculum cards.
Dennis has 2-year-old twins that are already “very engaged by books, loved to be read to and love looking at the pictures,” she says.
Research she and her friends have done say that it’s important to give young children 500 words an hour to help them with their language skills. That’s a lot of talking, but books can help with that, Dennis says.
“And hopefully it will give them a lifelong love of reading,” she says.