Local Duo Offering Kids Weekly Learning Videos

Written by Ann Byle on . Posted in Local

kevinkWimee, a popular robot-like character who visits schools with creators Kevin Kammeraad and Michael Hyacinthe, is making his video debut just in time for kids to tune in from home. Wimee's mission is "helping kids build vocabulary skills through creative storytelling."

"We were scheduled to do 100 workshops featuring Wimee and the book 'Wimee's Words,' but Covid-19 hit and we had to suspend our engagement directly with kids," said Hyacinthe, CEO of Wimage, LLC and a veteran working with veterans at Habitat for Humanity. "So, we developed a web series that continues to engage with kids while schools are closed."

Wimee can be found on Facebook (search Wimee the Robot) where he appears live each day at 1 pm, and at www.wimee.tv, where Wimee invites kids to submit three words for possible use in the next Wimee video. New episodes release each Thursday morning on wimee.tv or YouTube's Wimee's Words channel. Each episode incorporates three words to create a story. The first one features the words aardvark, hat, and Mississippi.

Wimee came into being first through the Wimage app, which takes words and turns them into images, and provides a platform for kids to create their own books and become authors.

"Kevin and I knew the app was more suited to early childhood education, and to fit that market we needed to provide a character that kids could engage with," said Hyacinthe.

Kammeraad—popular author, speaker, and puppeteer—created Wimee and began taking him around to schools and other events, sponsored in part by Kent District Library. Next came the book "Wimee's Words," created using the app that appeals to early learners.

Kammeraad and Hyacinthe had planned to have the book and Wimee plush toys available at Bridge Street Market, owned by Meijer, but Covid-19 put all that on hold. Now Wimee is engaging kids using technology.

"We really want kids to use technology to become creators instead of just passive users, especially now in light of school closures, but also moving forward," said Hyacinthe.
Author Information
Ann Byle
Ann Byle is a freelance writer and owner of AB Writing Services. She writes for a number of publications including WMCN, Publishers Weekly, CBA Christian Market and Grand Rapids Magazine, and is author or coauthor of several books including The Baker Book House Story, The Call to Care: A Compassionate Response to Caring for Vulnerable Children (2018) and Christian Publishing 101 (2018). She and her husband Ray, a science teacher, have four young adult children.

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