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DAVIDSON & ASSOCIATES SHIPS 'DAVIDSON'S KID KEYS'; NEW TYPING PROGRAM FOR CHILDREN AGES 4-8 TEACHES KEYBOARDING AND EARLY READING SKILLS

 TORRANCE, Calif., Sept. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Davidson & Associates Inc. (NASDAQ: DAVD) today began shipping "Davidson's Kid Keys," a musical, animated typing tutor for children ages 4 to 8. This new software uses high-resolution VGA graphics, digitized speech, music, sound effects and animation to teach children familiarity with a computer keyboard and the alphabet, and to associate letters with their keyboard positions.
 "Kid Keys" is immediately available in DOS format at most major computer and software retail chains nationwide for a suggested retail price of $49.95. School versions are also available through Educational Resources and other educational software dealers.
 "`Davidson's Kid Keys' is the third in our line of `Kid Tools' following `Kid Works 2' and `Kid CAD,'" says Dr. Jan Davidson, president and founder of Davidson & Associates Inc. "These products are designed to help children gain confidence in their communication skills and encourage their creativity, regardless of their grade level, native language or developmental stage."
 Adds Mary Cron, co-developer of "Kid Keys" and president of the Rymel Design Group, "`Kid Keys' teaches young children how to type in an environment tailor made for their special learning needs and interests. It was designed using the latest research on how children learn keyboarding skills. For example, research has shown that young children become oriented to the keyboard most successfully when sound is associated with key position and letter name. So we developed `Kid Keys' to tie digitized speech, music and sound effects with letters and keys.
 "Research has also shown that for children to reach a target typing rate of 10 words per minute, keyboarding exercises should stress accuracy over speed. With that in mind most `Kid Keys' activities are not timed; instead, they focus on accuracy and smoothness."
 "Davidson's Kid Keys" Product Overview
 "Kid Keys" features Keystone, a friendly dragon who guides children through three activities: Magic Keyboard, Dragon Tunes and Monster Rescue.
 As children press keys in the Magic Keyboard activity, animations appear that reinforce each letter and their key positions. For example, pressing the letter "V" causes an animated volcano to appear -- the volcano erupts, the letter "V" comes out of the top and that letter is spoken aloud. Pressing the "V" additional times will show other words and animations.
 After children become familiar with the keyboard, they can then play 27 different Dragon Tunes, where musical notes are associated with letters on the keyboard. Children type in letters following musical cues, playing popular folk songs like "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and "Pop Goes the Weasel." They can also practice what they've learned by playing the Alphabet Song Game.
 In Monster Rescue, children are presented with letters and words. To rescue the monsters, they must correctly type a series of responses that match what is represented on the screen. There are three levels of play, so children progress from combinations of letters to words and word families.
 Other features of "Kid Keys" include:
 -- "Helping Hands" to show correct finger position.
 -- Large type, so all letters and words are easy for children to read.
 -- Personalized certificates for printing at the completion of each activity on color or black and white printers.
 -- The software allows children to advance at their own pace.
 -- High resolution VGA graphics, sound effects, music and digitized speech.
 System Requirements, Pricing
 "Kid Keys" requires a 12 MHZ 286 or higher IBM PC or compatible computer with 640K RAM, MS-DOS 3.3 (5.0 recommended), and a hard disk with 6 MB of free disk space. A sound card such as Sound Blaster or the Disney Sound Source is required.
 "Kid Keys" is available for IBM PCs and compatibles at a suggested retail price of $49.95. Teachers' editions are available for $69.95, lab packs for $169.95, and site licenses for $699.95.
 Davidson & Associates Inc. publishes educational software for the home and school markets. Founded in 1982 by educator Davidson, the company has won national acclaim for teacher-designed, student-tested software such as the "Math Blaster" series, "Kid Works 2" and "Kid CAD" in the home market, and "English Express" and "Story Club" in schools.
 -0- 9/20/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Evaluation copies and product screen and box shots, are available upon request. Please call Linda Duttenhaver at 310-793-0600, ext. 230, or Susan Nowiejski at ext. 245./
 /CONTACT: Linda Duttenhaver, Davidson & Associates, 310-793-0600, ext. 230/
 (DAVD)


CO: Davidson & Associates Inc. ST: California IN: CPR SU: PDT

NY-MF -- LA004 -- 3472 09/20/93 08:31 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 20, 1993
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