Cindy Finelli Coleman: I am a teacher turned entrepreneur and my dream is to change the world through education. To do this well, I had to put together an all-star team, my Pride, and start at the beginning with early education.
After years of research coupled with classroom and business experience, I created a new methodology to teach at a deeper, more meaningful level. The design helps children think and learn better. Children actually want to learn so learning is exciting, fun and easier because it feels natural. We incorporate proven research findings with technology and use a more cinematic approach to teaching and learning. There is a purpose, a mission that drives learning. This purpose behind the learning is to help the animals in the Sunmoona Pride reunite!
Our modern approach embodies the notion that when you teach a child a fact – he may remember it, and when you show a child an example – she can describe it, but when you tell young children a captivating story, set to music, the story and songs become a part of who they are, shape who they become, and stay with them for life.
Our new way of teaching embraces the idea that when you ask children to help, challenge them with a goal, and the opportunity to be part of something bigger than themselves, children will rise to the occasion and do their best, every time. That’s why iKnow products give children the edge and are designed to instill the value of doing their best at a young age. This is a life changer!
I’ve loved animals for as long as I can remember. Some of my fondest memories from my early childhood involve stories, books, movies and videos about animals. Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom captivated my heart and mind. My sister & I ate popcorn and watched the animals with our Nana and Pop-pop. It was the best! I remember the animals in faraway places spoke to my imagination and sparked my curiosity to learn about them, discover their stories and make up new stories about them. It was real and I wanted to learn more.
The idea for iKnow Animals, Letters & Sounds came to me at my sister’s kitchen table when I made up the animal alphabet game with my nephews. I knew right away that this was my calling: I had to reinvent the way young children learn. I had to create iKnow, no matter what. So that’s what we did! The first step was to put together an all-star team and together in partnership with the San Diego Zoo we created an amazing DVD Box Set, online games, and ABC cards to teach little ones their ABCs and help them discover the amazing animals around the world. Children discovered that they could actually help, make a difference with the preservation and conversation of animals and their habitats as they learn their ABCs; a portion of all sales was donated to help endangered species around the world. The box set and multi-tactile animal ABC cards were manufactured from recycled materials, soy-based inks, and even the shrink-wrap was biodegradable. All of our products were made in the U.S.A.
After our partnership with the zoo, The Legend of the Sunmoona Pride was born! The story is the purpose for learning and provides a goal for the children to attain. We wrote and recorded an original sing-along children’s music album! We created a revolutionary TV series, video library, to teach children English language acquisition and beginning reading skills, science concepts including environmental awareness and global citizenship. Finally, we made our innovative eBook series that actually teaches children how to read while they read and interact with the 5 books. The Legend connects all of the iKnow products.
Another one of my passions is sports. Athletes and sports definitely influence and shape the way I create, teach and live. I believe education is meant to instill hope, spark curiosity, ignite passion and inspire greatness, the same way sports and athletes do.
Over the past 20 years, I’ve taught on two continents, in several states, created and taught new ways for children of all ages to learn. I’ve taught and helped teachers and schools develop new, effective ways to teach at a deeper level. I’ve worked in elementary, middle, and high schools, public and private, and at the university level. I’ve collaborated with city and state organizations, foundations, world-class musicians, entrepreneurs, and a New York Times Best selling author and worked in partnership with the world-famous San Diego Zoo! I received honors and acknowledgments for my work. I’ve earned a M.Ed. in Instructional and Curricular Studies with an emphasis in Technology and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. I love to create, teach and dream big!
When I’m not creating and working, I’m enjoying life at the beach with my family. I love spending time with my friends, sports – especially tennis, photography, music, and to travel!