In a world where often not enough children’s books reflect Black children and other kids of color, rolling out‘s Munson Steed is creating culturally relevant products through his new educational enterprise called Playful Genius.
Steed, the CEO of Steed Media Group and publisher of rolling out, started his new company to create books, toys, music, animation and other products that are culturally relevant to children of color and focus on education and technology. While designed with African American girls and boys and other children of color in mind, Steed also hopes they will appeal to parents looking to share the importance and beauty of cultural diversity with their kids.
The books and other products take a holistic approach to educating children and enabling them to see themselves as mathematicians and scientists, astronauts and engineers, musicians and artists — or anything else they dream of.
“Children need the opportunity, exposure and nurturing to master science, math and new technology in ways that are fun, that showcase their cultural identity and values, and that allow them to express their individual genius inside and outside of the classroom,” Steed said. “It is important for our children to see themselves as geniuses and to know that they can enjoy the process of creating and learning at a highly intellectual level without losing community cool points.”
Playful Genius’ top-sellers include:
Little Professor Skye, a series of children’s books that speak to the “Black Girl Magic” that exists inside all of Black and Brown little girls.
Atom Smart, a book series that encourages little boys to explore and get excited about math, engineering, technology and space.
The Plush Crew™, an alphabet book and line of adorable plush toys designed for infants to 3-year-olds that allow them to understand sight words and recognize animals that are found in culturally relevant locations.
Three new items recently added for the 2019 holiday season are the King Volcano and DJ Cool Blue plush toys and a plush throw.
“All of our products are focused on increasing the intellectual capacity of our children, who are brilliant,” Steed said. “The illustrations by artist Kareem Kenyada also draw children in, feature positive affirmations and serve as conversation-starters with their parents.”
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