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Newark Schools Install 75 Young Explorer Technology Centers

Newark Public Schools will receive 75 IBM technology centers to help students develop skills in math, language, and science.

The centers will be installed in 30 locations and will serve 3,000 children from ages 4-7 as well as 190 teachers.

Total cost for the project is $180,000 with funding being provided by a grant from IBM in collaboration with the United Way of Essex and West Hudson.

Locations taking part in the KidSmart program will receive Young Explorers, durable computers in child-friendly Little Tikes furniture that will house each unit. These feature bright colors, solid construction, and sizing designed with children in mind. Retail pricing for each unit is $2,599.99.

Each unit is already loaded with educational software stressing not only educational outcomes but also socialization skills. The latter focus on sharing and cooperation to emphasize behaviors needed to succeed in the world.

The program also features access for parents and teachers to a Web site with assistance in multiple languages to help adults better guide their children in using technology, both at home and in the classroom. Assistance is provided in Chinese, German, English, Japanese, Spanish, French, Italian, Polish and Portuguese to serve the needs of a diverse population that may not have fully developed English language skills.

The grant to Newark Schools is part of a $4.3 million nationwide effort by IBM to provide 1,700 learning centers and educational curricula to schools and nonprofits to help disadvantaged students. More than $600,000 in technology and services has been donated within the City of Newark in the past year.

"This is a wonderful example of a great public private partnership and on behalf of the residents of our great city I thank IBM and the United Way of Essex and West Hudson for bringing this innovative technology to our public schools," said Newark Mayor Cory Booker. In order to compete in today's global market you have to be technologically savvy and these computer learning centers will give so many students the opportunity to build their math, science, and language skills.  By investing in the educational excellence of Newark's children today, we will create the foundation for our city's prosperity and competitiveness in the decades ahead."

"The way to improve student achievement is to start with children at a very young age and give them a strong foundation in basic skills," said Stanley Litow, IBM's vice president of corporate citizenship and corporate affairs, and president of IBM's International Foundation. "We believe that the specially designed computer learning centers we are providing Newark City Schools will help build that foundation by increasing children's math, science, and language skills in a fun, interactive way. Adopting innovative techniques and technology are just some of the ways that the City of Newark can build a smarter city and a smarter society--and we are pleased to be able to do our part."

Established in 1998, the Kidsmart program seeks to bridge the digital divide, particularly in larger cities. IBM has contributed more than $133 million as part of the program with more than 60,000 Young Explorers given to schools and non-profits to help more than 10 million students and 105,000 teachers in 60 countries.

More information about IBM's citizenship efforts and grant funding for educational projects is available at citizenibm.com.

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