Idaho launches web-based reading program "Smarty Ants"

BOISE, ID - Idaho’s new web-based program to help children get ready for reading and kindergarten is ready to roll -- and parents are encouraged to sign up online at ww2.achieve3000.com, said officials of the Idaho Department of Education Tuesday.

“Smarty Ants” is intended to make free, interactive learning available to children before they enter kindergarten. The five-year agreement between the State Department of Education and the online literacy program known as Achieve3000 was approved by the State Board of Education April 5th.

“In the few days between last week’s acceptance of the ‘Smarty Ants’ grant and the website going live, we have already heard from numerous parents anxious to sign their 4-year-olds up for this free online program,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra. “Our hope is that every Idaho child headed for kindergarten will use ‘Smarty Ants’ to help build a strong foundation for loving reading and succeeding in school.”

“Smarty Ants” is open to all Idaho 4-year-olds as well as children who have already turned 5 but are not yet in kindergarten, according to a release from Ybarra’s office.

When parents sign up, they will be greeted by introductory videos and a coloring sheet to help children become familiar with the animated characters that will lead them through their “journey” to kindergarten readiness. As children progress through lesson games, parents can monitor their child’s progress via an online dashboard and other tools.

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