Parents are constantly passing their iPads, smartphones and laptops to their toddlers and pre-teens to keep the children entertained. Most families have additional equipment just for their children. So, what’s on your three-year old’s iPad? The creators of the RainbowMe brand, hope to use up some of your data share plan in order to expose your little ones to culturally diverse entertainment and educational programming.
The brainchild of North Carolina attorney and entrepreneur, Kya Johnson, and co-founders Atlanta-based cable industry veteran Bernard Bell and North Carolina marketing and digital technology entrepreneur Talib Graves-Mann, RainbowMe expects to launch in the spring of 2016. RainbowMe is a new digital entertainment platform for kids ages two to twelve, featuring culturally diverse characters exploring their world, learning, playing, and enjoying life, all presented in a positive light. RainbowMe (www.rainbowmekids.com) will include video content, games, books, music, and other activities with multicultural main characters. The heart of the platform is a streaming video service.
Johnson has served as a mentor to young children in the Triad region of North Carolina where she practices law. In the above video, posted on today, August 30, 2015, she explains the impetus behind RainbowMe and introduces the brand’s crowdfunding campaign, set to launch on Wednesday, September 2, 2015.
The US has had a growth spurt when it comes to ethnic diversity. A Census Bureau report issued on June 25, 2015, described an American population whose younger generations are becoming more diverse, with“minority” children younger than 5 now outnumbering white children. Source Yet, fewer than 10 percent of entertainment programs available today, on major children’s outlets, feature children of color as main characters.
…the latest census data reflect earlier findings that China has replaced Mexico as the chief source of U.S. immigrants. Hispanic immigration has slowed overall as Asian migration chugs along.-Washington Post, June 25, 2015
Teaching children to embrace diversity is extremely important. A child’s ability to interact with a wide array of people in homogeneous as well as heterogeneous environments makes for a more well-rounded, adept, and successful child. This concept is iterated by Mental Health of America:
Parents are uniquely positioned to guide their children to appreciate the differences that make each of us special. As a result of world events and heightened awareness of the relationship between bullying and school violence, there has been increased attention placed on the diversity that shapes the culture of the United States.
Explaining diversity in a way that is understandable to children can be a challenging process. Even when you have done your best to teach the importance of respect and treating others fairly, your child may still encounter hate and prejudice through the Internet and other forms of media, and even in their school or neighborhood. Teaching you child about appreciating diversity will help she/he do well in our diverse society, and promote good self-esteem and mental health.
Cultural awareness and inclusion are key to building esteem in young children and developing a child who is respectful of those with backgrounds that are different from his or her own. Employing different teaching tools and social experiences to help your child learn about him/herself and others is part of a parent’s enumerable responsibilities to his/her child(ren). Embracing a global concept of existence prepares children for the quick-paced evolution of societal norms and social constructs. Having a keen grasp on cultural and ethnic diversity also prepare children for higher education and entry into the workforce.
Children’s programming, like Sesame Street and Reading Rainbow, have for many decades been at the forefront of teaching children the core values of inclusion, friendship, and intellectual curiosity. RainbowMe is gearing up to conquer global diversity and cultural inclusion as principle foundations of a child’s development. With culturally rich, ethnically diverse characters, RainbowMe plans to invite a world of learning and development into your child’s digital life. RainbowMe was recently selected by a partnership of Google for Entrepreneurs and Code 2040, a non-profit which promotes diversity in the workforce, as one of three companies to participate in its Entrepreneurs-in-Residence program. (Source)
The RainbowMe brand will use crowdfunding through Idiegogo to launch their platform. If you’re interested in giving your support, or would like to keep up with the brand, check out this link.