Our mission is to be a resource to parents, teachers, and schools in providing the very best children’s books on the market that promote positive images and stories about African American culture and history. As a tool to help increase literacy, African American children will benefit by seeing themselves respectfully represented in the literature they read. Non-African American children will benefit by helping to dispel negative and inaccurate stereotypical images of people of color and that despite our many differences, all people share common feelings and aspirations.
We are parents of four lovely children. Together, we have created EyeSeeMe based on our years of experience raising four high achieving children. Our children have been tested in gifted programs; participated in leadership conferences; selected for public speaking engagements; and have attended Harvard University, Columbia University, and Bard College. How did we do it?
Our children were always inquisitive. After history class they would often run home and recite the many stories they learned about the great men and women of the past. But, they often seemed to have a presumption that their own heritage began at slavery. Yet, we could tell that they yearned for historical stories that included themselves as heroes, victors, founders, creators, and contributors to society. This yearning forced us to do our own research. We did find some very valuable historical information; but it wasn’t packaged in a way that was appealing to children. Furthermore, to our surprise, there were no educational or historical games geared for African American children. Therefore, we had no choice but to create our own.
We knew that if we could instill within our children a pride in their heritage and awareness of the great accomplishments of their forefathers that this would be the foundation that would allow them to grow into their full potential. We also realized that children learn by playing and interacting; not by simply memorizing and regurgitating dates and events during Black History Month. We created an environment for our children, which bridged the gap between education, identity, history & fun. We would sit around our dining room table for hours playing and learning. As we began to explore our vast heritage together as a family, we could see the excitement in our children’s souls as they embraced their nearly lost legacy. This excitement for learning transferred into their studies.
As our children grew we saw them approach school with purpose and a clear understanding that they are truly “standing on the shoulders of giants” and have a responsibility to do their best in everything that they do. Others noticed their achievements and upon inquiry we shared our games and products with them as well. Over the years we have had numerous responses from parents and teachers alike, that our products have been instrumental in helping children realize their full potential by seeing themselves in history.
WHAT WE LEARNED
Children need to have black role models and need to have a sense of history in order to understand who they are and build their self-esteem. When children see the many contributions that people that look like them have accomplished and have contributed to the world, they begin to believe in their own limitless potential.
Furthermore, children learn by playing and interacting with others. Eyeseeme’s products encourage and stimulate a child’s imagination and unleash their true potential through game playing and active learning.
WHAT WE PROVIDE
EyeSeeMe African American Children's Bookstore was created in order to help bridge the cultural divide, so that African American children can benefit from exposure to literature that respectfully mirrors themselves, their culture and their families. EyeSeeMe, is the only children’s bookstore devoted exclusively to promoting positive African American Images and African American History while advocating for Academic Excellence. We believe that competent, caring, and properly supported teachers and parents are essential to student learning. EyeseeMe is here to help provide that support.
High Quality Products
We carry thousands of African American and Multi-Cultural Children's Books at our store on 6951 Olive Blvd, in University City and through our website. We spend countless hours researching all the major publishers and distributors including Random House, JustUs Books, Scholastic, & Capstone, looking for the very best books that will further our mission. Our books range from Baby/Toddler to High School, most of which meet Core Curriculum Standards.
Eyeseeme offers parents and teachers a very unique and diverse product line that fosters educational excellence and promotes educational family fun.
In addition to being a full service bookstore we also provide the following services:
Book Fairs - Research has shown that the number one predictor to academic success is related to the number of books in the home. In order to increase the number of books in the home we offer Book Fairs , which can also be a means of fundraising. The excitement of an Eyeseeme Book Fair is one of the best ways to encourage reading and introduce children to new literature.
African American Reading Mentors - Encouraging literacy and a love for reading is our highest priority. We have found that when children are presented with literature that looks like them and are read to and encouraged to read by people that look like them, they are significantly more likely to become excited about reading.
Literacy and African History & Culture Presentations - We can assist with Teacher Professional Development and Parent Organizations on the latest research on literacy and the importance of African American History and positive Black Images
Plus we provide many more Literacy, STEM and History Classes in our store
We are a family owned and operated business that takes great pride in our ability to offer exceptional service and products to each and every customer. As parents we understand that you want the very best for your children; and provide nothing less. We hope to count you among our satisfied customers soon!
Pamela & Jeffrey Blair,
Owners and Founders