The Little Tikes Young Explorer is a combination desk and desktop computer that introduces youngsters to technology and to the world in which they will most likely play and work. The kiddie tech costs a couple of thousand dollars each, so you don't see many of them around. Last week, however, IBM donated 50 of them to the pre-schools throughout the City, including those that serve some of our most disadvantaged children. Each site received a desk for two preschoolers, along with a monitor, computer and pre-school software. IBM's Lisa Yanker and I had great time visiting the schools and watching the excited kids.
It was a generous gift. (The real gift, of course, is the expanded math and language skills our children will acquire will having fun at their new computers.)I want to thank IBM for making the donation (and Lisa for making sure it happened), and I want to acknowledge the many members of the community who helped. Vision for Children At Risk coordinated the delivery and distribution of the computers. Mardi Gras Inc provided free warehouse space. McGuire Moving and Storage dispatched drivers and trucks to deliver the Young Explorers throughout the City. The Mental Health Board underwrote the training of the volunteers. And in just one day, nearly 100 volunteers from United Way, St.Louis Early Childhood Council, AmeriCorps, the St. Louis Democratic Party, and the City of St. Louis joined employees and retirees from IBM to assemble all the computers for the schools.