Hatch®, a leading provider of technology for early learning, and SMART Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:SMT) (TSX:SMA), a leading provider of collaboration solutions, announced its CoreFocus by Hatch®|SMART™ content solution for SMART Notebook software was selected to receive the 18th Annual Best Education Software Award (BESSIES) for the early elementary literacy and mathematics category.

“The BESSIE Awards recognize the highest level of excellence in educational software and we’re proud to have CoreFocus honored as a revolutionary tool for building literacy and mathematics skills for early elementary students,” said Ginny Norton, president of Hatch. “CoreFocus was developed by the same team who created TeachSmart®, the first interactive whiteboard solution proven to impact math and literacy outcomes for early education, and it will have a definite impact on the development of children and provide teachers with proven strategies for success.”

“CoreFocus represents a very high level of expertise in both early education skill development and digital solutions, and we’re pleased to be recognized by the BESSIE Awards for this outstanding collaboration,” said Linda Thomas, Vice President, Products, SMART Technologies. “The effort between SMART and Hatch to produce CoreFocus demonstrates our shared commitment to meeting the needs of educators and further engaging students with high-quality content that can easily be integrated into curriculum.”

Co-created by Hatch and SMART Technologies, CoreFocus is a comprehensive content solution designed to work within SMART Notebook and features more than 2,500 math and literacy activities for kindergarten and first grade, aligned to Common Core State Standards. The solution supports teachers in integrating SMART Board® interactive whiteboards into their daily lessons plans and curriculum, and provides a content management system for existing interactive whiteboard content.

Presented by The ComputEd Gazette, the BESSIE Awards honor innovative and content-rich programs and websites that provide parents and teachers with the technology to foster educational excellence. Criteria for selection included academic content, potential for broad classroom use, technical merit, subject approach and management system. Winners were selected from titles submitted by publishers around the world.

About Hatch®, The Early Learning Experts:

Since 1984, Hatch has been committed to supporting the needs of students and enriching early education. From classroom supplies and education materials, to interactive whiteboard content, to adaptive learning and mobile technology, Hatch® is the innovative solutions leader and most widely-used early learning technology provider nationwide. Hatch technologies combine child-appropriate hardware, research-based content tied to standards, and individualized progress monitoring tools, to create complete classroom solutions proven to increase math, literacy and social/emotional development. For more information, please visit www.hatchearlylearning.com.

About SMART Technologies:

SMART Technologies Inc. is a leading provider of collaboration solutions that change the way the world works and learns. As the global leader in interactive whiteboards, our focus is on developing a variety of easy-to-use, integrated solutions that free people from their desks and computer screens, making collaboration and learning with digital resources more natural. Our products have transformed teaching and learning in more than 1.9 million classrooms worldwide, reaching over 40 million students and teachers. In business, our Freestorm™ visual collaboration solutions improve the way that people work and collaborate, enabling them to be more productive and reduce costs.

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