We had the good fortune of connecting with Alysse Daniels, M.Ed. and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alysse, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I am a former educator and school district administrator. Literacy at an early age is the biggest predictor of future success. I had the vision to use my background and experience to create an edutainment company, providing effective educational books, animated programs, and learning resources to help expose children to diverse cultures and inspire reading and exploration. It was important to me to create characters that look like my daughters and their friends. I am focused on early learners, and our book series, Adventures with Mariah will bridge cultures, infuse history, provide multi-cultural representation, foster collaboration, and promote problem-solving for children.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am proud of my work as an author. I am writing stories that bridge cultures and promote African and Pan African pride. It is important for children of African descent worldwide to understand their rich culture and heritage. I am excited about the opportunity to expose children to ancient kingdoms and rulers in Africa. Exposure is important, Mariah and her friends will travel around the world learning about different cultures. I started my education career as a teacher in an urban school district. I thought I was connected to the needs of students in low socio-economic groups, but I quickly found out that I wasn’t. I had students in the 5th grade reading on a 1st or 2nd-grade level. If a child can’t read for comprehension it makes it difficult to learn the other core subjects – math, science, social studies. I realized I had to think “outside of the box” to teach and reach my students. This led me to learn more about strategies to teach children to learn how to read. I was able to share my love of reading with my students and use instructional technology to keep them excited about learning. This led me to be an instructional technology specialist, and provide training to teachers on the current technology available to them. My experience with instructional technology led me to global education technology companies. I have traveled across N. America, working with schools. This experience has shown me how similar children are, regardless of where they live. They want a connection and to identify with something. I created Adventures with Mariah and her multi-cultural friends for children to see themselves in my stories.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I live in a great city, commonly called “The A!” Atlanta, Georgia is rich in history, culture, and experiences. I would take a visiting friend on the historical tour first, visiting Martin Luther King Jr.’s birth home on Sweet Auburn Avenue. We would learn more about him and the Civil Rights movement in the King Center. Then we would go downtown and visit Centennial Olympic Park, home to the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. Next stop, the Coca-Cola museum where we can taste Coca-Cola from around the world, and learn more about the founder and the brand. We would hang out in Midtown, one of my favorite parts of town and home to Piedmont Park, an oasis nestled in the heart of the city. There are many shops and restaurants to enjoy! Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to dedicate my shoutout to my ancestors, my parents, my siblings, my daughters Kala, Mia, and Jada, and my tribe.
Facebook: Adventures with Mariah