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IBM Computers for Kids in West Virginia

State Awards IBM Contract for K-6 Basic Skills Program

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Charleston, West Virginia - 21 Sep 2000: -West Virginia Governor Cecil Underwood and Stat Superintendent Dr. David Stewart have announced that IBM has been awarded a 1 year contract with options to renew to expand on its computer education program in public schools from kindergarten through the sixth grade.

This new contract continues the 10-year elementary computer education program begun in 1990 by IBM, in which 29,000 IBM computers and IBM software were installed in K-6 classrooms throughout the state. West Virginia's Basic Skills Computer Education Program is considered the nation's longest-running, most comprehensive statewide strategy utilizing computers to enhance basic educational skills.

"I am pleased that this contract will continue a program that has played an important part in West Virginia's emergence as a national leader in education technology," said Governor Underwood. "Students in West Virginia's elementary schools are using computers as tools for improving basic skills and are strengthening their abilities to think creatively and critically."

The contract provides for classroom IBM personal computers, Netfinity servers, educational software, network cabling and electronics, technical support, and teacher training/on-site assistance. It will also continue to use the CompassLearning curriculum and assessment system in reading, language arts, and mathematics.

John O'Brien of IBM's Integrated Technical Services, said, "This initiative shows that West Virginia continues to be a national leader in education. IBM is pleased to work with the state to bring the best possible educational solutions, professional development, and ongoing technical support to educators and administrators in West Virginia to enable them to concentrate on the vital task of educating the children."

The West Virginia State Legislature has appropriated approximately $7 million in funding for the program for Fiscal Year 01. Money will then be allocated to county school systems on a net enrollment basis.

IBM is the world's largest information technology company with over 80 years of leadership in providing innovative solutions to businesses and educational institutions. IBM offers a wide range of services, solutions, and technologies that enable organizations to take full advantage of the new era of e-business and to realize the full value of information technology.

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