In fulfillment of its pledge to support EEC’s  Race To The Top - Early Learning Challenge Grant application, From Birth to School Readiness: Massachusetts Early Learning Plan, 2012-2015, IBM has recently completed the second of two donations of IBM Young Explorer computers to not-for-profit early education and care programs in Massachusetts serving children between the ages of 3 and 7 years old.  The first donation, made in 2012 through IBM’s KidSmart Program, provided 57 Young Explorer Computers, access to professional development webinars and technical support to eight programs across the Commonwealth that self-assessed at Level 3 in EEC’s QRIS system. IBM’s KidSmart program includes the Young Explorer, a computer housed in brightly colored, kid-friendly Little Tikes™ furniture and equipped with award-winning educational software to help children learn and explore concepts in math, science and language. The computer centers can also help children learn important socialization skills such as working together and sharing, which are important for future success in school.

 The second donation, reaching programs in August, provided 60 Young Explorer Computers to 13 programs serving high-needs children.  In June EEC received requests for 230 computers from 51 not-for-profit early education programs; some serving as many as 540 high needs children.  In making the difficult decisions among all the worthy applicants in 2013 EEC considered the number of high needs preschoolers to be served, the age of any computers already available to children in the program, if any, and geographic location of the program. 

Programs receiving computers through this final award included:  Morris Profession Children’s Creative Center in Springfield; Child Care of the Berkshires in North Adams; Our Lady’s Child Care at Notre Dame in Easthampton; Worcester Comprehensive Education and Care in Worcester; Greater Visions Children’s Center in Chelmsford; Roudenbush Children’s Center in Westford; Salem Community Child Care in Salem; Community Day Care in Lawrence; Triumph Head Start in Taunton; Citizens for Citizens in Fall River; Cooper Community Center in Roxbury; Cambridge Economic Opportunity Committee in Cambridge; and Dimock Center/Goddard Learning Center in Roxbury.