RALEIGH — Many young children do not have access to a computer at home. A national pilot program launched byIBMwill help many of these children prepare for the information age, before they reach elementary school.
WRAL OnLine Reporter Tom Lawrence introduces us to theYoung Explorerand the KidSmart program.
At Raleigh's Learning Together, kids can use the self-contained computer learning unit, as part of IBM's "K-12 Reform" effort.
Dave Benevides of IBM says the learning unit is "another extension of getting down below the 'K' level into the early learners."
IBM is giving similar units to 50United Waysupported child care agencies in eight cities.
The company is also furnishing 20 units to five day care centers in the Triangle. That means about 500 youngsters will have access to the computers.
Jeff Rosenburg of Learning Together praises the program. "It teaches the basic concepts, a lot of color, shapes, direction concepts, positions and all the basic math and reading skills," Rosenburg says.
Michele Riggs, a developer of Young Explorer, says "These will be the tools that they'll have to learn by and tools that they'll need to learn for the future."
IBM, United Way and early childhood education researchers will work closely evaluating the pilot program.
Early next year, IBM plans to place 1,000 Young Explorer units at not-for-profit child care centers around the country.