Idaho State Department of Education rolls out free online program for children

Published: Apr. 10, 2018 at 4:52 PM MDT
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The Idaho State Department of Education released a web-based program on Tuesday for 4-year-old children to get ready for kindergarten.

The program is called "Smarty Ants," an interactive website for 4 year olds to learn and get ready to read before going into kindergarten.

SBOE Vice President Debbie Critchfield said there was a study done by a university called

on children who haven't been read to or spoken to show up to school — having to do with socioeconomic factors — that they have heard a million less words than other children.

"That impacts them as they progress through their academic career, even as early as a kindergartner. We encourage parents beyond the reading and discussing, and talking to their children as they're traveling in cars," she continued. "Parents do a good job in being able to address that. This is just one more layer and one more bit of support, so that families can supplement some of the things that they're doing at home."

The website is free and is put on by an agreement between the State Department of Education and the online literacy program Achieve 3000.

For parents to sign their children up, visit the