Rogers, AR, October 1, 2009 – Northwest Arkansas Head Start Human Services, Inc today announced the Agency was a grant recipient from IBM of 4 Young Explorer™ computer units. The Young Explorer™ is a computer housed in brightly colored, kid-friendly Little Tikes™ furniture and equipped with award-winning educational software to help children learn and explore concepts in math, science and language. The computer centers can also help children learn important socialization skills such as how to work together and share. Exploration and socialization skills are important to prepare children for future success in school, help level the playing field and ensure all children have access to educational tools.
"IBM's goal with our KidSmart Early Learning program is to give pre-K programs all over the world the tools they need to enrich teaching and learning, so that children arrive at elementary school prepared and excited to learn." said Stanley S. Litow Vice President, Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs; President, IBM International Foundation.
The IBM KidSmart Early Learning Program integrates new interactive teaching and learning activities using the latest technology into the pre-kindergarten curricula. The program is now being implemented in 60 countries internationally, serving more than 2 million children from remote geographic areas to underprivileged areas of town and cities.
An evaluation conducted by the Bank Street College of Education found that teachers who had been participating in KidSmart grew significantly more adept at integrating technology into their instruction. The evaluation also found that children's comfort levels using computers increased significantly, with 99 percent of the children either comfortable or very comfortable with computers.
Additionally, KidSmart is now widely acknowledged as a catalyst for curriculum development and learning innovation in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
Northwest Arkansas Head Start is a non-profit agency offering free child development services to families who qualify in Benton, Madison, and Carroll counties. In total, Northwest Arkansas Head Start provides services for 504 children of lower income families in the area. It is only with the assistance of community partnerships such as this one that the level of service we are able to provide is maintained.