With the covid19 pandemic and the replacement of in-person learning with online teaching, many parents have found themselves in the role of surrogate teachers. But Darrell Browne and his wife Louisea took this one step further and developed a tool for teaching preschoolers and young children called Increase Kids Alphabet.
Browne described it as an “interactive and interpretative alphabet idea” created by him and his family.
“It’s a unique and fun tool for children two years and over. Everything about this alphabet is meant to have kids increase, as my kids enjoy using it and we have already started seeing visible improvements while home-schooling them.”
He explained their mentors, Pastor Jason John and his wife Valerie Duncan-John from the Increase Church in Rio Claro, have always encouraged them to read.
“And through reading we decided that our children have to be different and carriers of solutions and this alphabet can help us achieve that goal for them.”
He said the Johns also assisted them in their vision as they teach people how to “Increase.”
“God gave me a wonderful wife, we are both young and still in love after six years of marriage with two beautiful daughters, Jayydell (four) and Jahhdell (two), and they are the reason we created this idea and decided to share it with the world.”
He explained he and his wife are both business owners with more than 20 years' experience in the private and public sector.
“However, the decision to be free and become directly involved in our children’s lives in these tender years was never regretted.”
He said they believe in the power of a sound education and when his wife got an MSc from UWI it provided “invaluable contributions” towards this idea.
Browne recalled his family spent a lot of meaningful time together to create the alphabet and toyed with the idea for about two years.
“And it is now a blossoming reality, being sold on Amazon and direct sales.
“The support from grandparents, aunties, uncles, friends and their cousin Jewel was tremendous. We observed our kids interact with each all day long even while playing with them and used their own words for the alphabet.”
Browne said they had a lot of images in mind for the alphabet and they were hand-drawn by Uzair Muhammad. They also had input from professionals such as Lynn Rambarat, Jumadeed Mohammed and Pettlin Trim.
He said it is amazing as a dad to see his kids running and saying “vow to be friends forever” or, "Daddy I have an IBEAR (meaning idea),” quotes from the tool.
“It’s exciting when we see kids learning the words and images and having positive results from it, or when we see other kids using the book or wearing the printed promotional T-shirts.”
Browne said the tool goes beyond teaching letters and words and is also meant to teach positive behaviours.
“Why should we be teaching our children the word ‘gun’ for the letter G? It’s ironic how we train children from small in certain ways and expect a different result when they are older. Why not teach them G for 'give,' or L for 'love,' P for 'peace' and even R for 'rich'? This will in time prove to have a society and world that lives in peace and a chance at ending poverty and violence. It may seem like a long journey, but we now have a chance to start, we have an opportunity to shape the minds of our children before they get to an age there is little or no control.”
He said covid19 introduced a “new normal” to all lives and it is a challenge for a lot of parents to teach their children.
“However, this product can help. It can make a child’s indoor activity more meaningful and allow parents and children to interact with each other while doing chores or any day-to-day activity.
“It’s easy to use and can change a generation. It’s a gift that we desire each home, school, or organisation with kids such as temples, mosques, churches, daycares etcetera employ this learning tool, as we know the change it can have will be phenomenal. We can change tomorrow if we start today.”
Increase Kids Alphabet is available in ebook and paperback formats. You can e-mail email@example.com and also check them out on Facebook at increase-kids IK or on Instagram at increasekids.