October 24, 2005 06:00 ET

IBM Puts Kid-Friendly Computers in the Hands of Young Children

Washington Area Early Learning Centers Receive Young Explorers Today

WASHINGTON, DC -- (MARKET WIRE) -- October 24, 2005 -- Hundreds of local children will be able to learn and play on child-friendly computers, which are being donated by IBM to early learning centers in greater Washington today.

Centers and pre-schools will receive 45 brightly colored computer units nicknamed, "Young Explorers." The computers are specifically designed to meet the needs of young children and feature a keyboard developed for small hands, along with a variety of educational software that makes learning how to use a computer fun.

IBM has partnered with the United Way of the National Capital Area and Gifts in Kind International to identify to the schools and learning centers in the area that will receive the Young Explorers.

"My organization has been privileged to help IBM distribute more than 21,500 Young Explorers around the world," said Richard Wong, CEO, Gifts in Kind International. "In fact, IBM has donated over 100 units in the Washington Metro area alone, which has helped to enhance the development of the youngest members of our community."

According to medical and scientific research, the experiences of young children in the first six years have a lasting impact on later success in school and life. United Way Success By 6 is a national community-based movement of public and private partners that work together to deliver proven solutions that ensure all children ages zero to six are healthy, nurtured, and ready to succeed.

"IBM has a range of programs that are designed to get kids excited about technology, science and math," said John R Nyland, General Manager Public Sector and IBM's Senior Executive for the Washington, D.C. Area. "Donating Young Explorers is a unique program because we're introducing technology to children at a key stage in their development. Their experience with a Young Explorer can make learning fun, which can have a profound and lasting impact throughout their formal education."

Teachers at the early learning centers and schools that receive the Young Explorers receive training on how to use the units to increase the effectiveness of the program. The total value of the Young Explorer units being distributed in the metro area, including software, is approximately $100,000.

The Young Explorers are being donated by IBM through its Kid Smart Early Learning program, which began in 1999. Young Explorer units were designed by IBM and its partner, the Little Tikes toy company, a division of Rubbermaid. The website with resources for teachers and parents is

Distribution Event: Monday, October 24 at 10:00am

Location: Capital One Headquarters
          Loading Dock
          1680 Capital One Drive
          McLean, VA 22102

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