Northfield Public Schools EarlyVentures Learning Center was one of 17 organizations to receive a Young Explorer™ Learning Center this fall, through the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation’s (SMIF) Early Childhood Initiative. 

The technology aims to offer a fun and engaging platform from which teachers and child care providers can challenge young minds and make classroom connections. Pre-kindergarten children can use the computer to learn about science and technology at their own pace.

EarlyVentures was selected to receive the system (valued at $2,600) because of their commitment to provide a trained adult and easy access for young children and their families to enjoy this interactive way of learning. The gift was made possible through a partnership between SMIF and IBM.

Parents and teachers can learn more about using the young explorer system at IBM’s KidSmart website ( or by contacting Ventures Coordinator Katie Valek at 507.664.3653.

SMIF’s Early Childhood Initiative supports efforts to make certain all children enter school fully encouraged, prepared and supported for learning success. SMIF has established several community coalitions, including the Northfield ECIC, in which local parents and educators work on projects to strengthen early care and education.