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IBM KidSmart Programme celebrates 10 years of ICT for schools

1200+ schools in the UK have the colourful Young Explorer units in their classrooms

LONDON, UK - 25 Jan 2010: IBM (NYSE:IBM) today announced that it will be investing a further 3,600 KidSmart Young Explorer units across Europe over the next two years. The announcement comes as IBM celebrates its 10th anniversary of the young explorer programme.

The IBM KidSmart Programme integrates interactive teaching and learning activities using the latest technology into the pre-school curricula. The programme is now in 60 countries, and has trained more than 100,000 teachers and served more than 10 million students.

“Over the past ten years IBM has invested more than $106 million dollars globally in the KidSmart programme”, said Mark Wakefield, Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs Manager, IBM UK. “This has helped well over 2,000 teachers in the UK to support early years pupils to gain confidence, improve their literacy and numeracy, improve their motivation to learn and has helped develop young children’s social and communication skills”.

“The children gradually became more independent”, explained Sandra Silvera, Head of the Children's Centre at St. Philips Primary School, Hulme, Manchester. “We could see that using the Young Explorer unit was helping them to become more confident in specific areas, such as basic maths. All the nursery children at this school enjoy using the unit but it has made the biggest impact on two particular pupils, a girl with Down’s Syndrome and a boy with Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of Autism”.

The Young Explorer Unit comprises a computer housed in a brightly coloured plastic unit that is attractive to children. The units stimulate natural curiosity, encouraging the children to experiment with ICT in a play centred learning environment.

The units are donated to pre-schools and teachers are provided with training by IBM and experienced practitioners to ensure that they are integrated effectively into classroom practice. The IBM KidSmart Programme is now widely acknowledged as a catalyst for curriculum development and learning innovation through ICT.

IBM supports the UK Government in its goal to make the UK the best place in the world for children and young people to grow up. Twelve months ago, the Department for Children, Schools and Families pledged to invest £117 million in early years education over the next three years.

Notes to Editors:

For more information on the IBM KidSmart Early Learning Programme visit: ibm.com/ibm/ibmgives/grant/education/programs/kidsmart.shtml

Contact(s) information

Nilima Patwardhan
UK External Relations
+44 (0)207 021 9191
nilima.patwardhan@uk.ibm.com

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