Kevin Gatlin, 42 of South Charlotte began the educational CDs, Ride Along with Dooey, in August 2013. He already has 10 CDs in Volume 1 and Volume 2 is in the works! Keep reading to see how this local Dadpreneur got started.
Q. How did you come up with the idea for Ride Along with Dooey?
A. So, this is how the ideal found me. I was driving my son and his friend home from school and while listening and singing to what was playing on the radio, I notice my son and his friends were singing and mimicking the words as well.
I then realized how selfish I was that every time I jumped in the car and turned on the radio to pacify me, I was also allowing the radio to teach my kids things that they were clearly too young to learn.
So, I decided to find something we both could listen to instead of the radio.
But everything on the market was either story telling or sing-alongs, and hes 9 and too cool for that! So I had the idea to base it on games my parents and I used to play when I was young, such as counting numbers and letters off the license tags or creating sentences from words they called out.
That led to introducing the first CDs for children age 3 to 11 that turns an everyday car ride into an interactive classroom on wheels.
Q. How did you create the CD?
I came up with a character named Dooey who explains to the kids how to play the games while you drive.
Next, I hired teachers and professionals and with their expertise we created over 25 learning activities and games that utilize all the things kids see while riding in the car. For example, the driver calling out objects and the child identifies whether the object is made by man or by nature.
Each chapter revolves around the current core curriculum that kids are being taught in school today and Consist of reading, math, geography, science, cognitive skills, exercising and positive affirmations.
So now, instead of my kids learning to rappers, rock-n-roll stars, or singing lyrics to adult love songs, our car rides consist of playing fun games and learning while we ride.
Q. What all is on the CDs?
A. We have 25 Learning Games for Kids and free pintables on the website.
Q. What subjects do you discuss?
A. Reading, math, geography, science, cognitive skills, exercising and positive affirmations.
Q. What is an example of a game you can find on one of the discs?
A. The kids really like Dooey Says. Its a version of Simon Says, but all movements are performed in the car.
Q. What ages is Ride Along with Dooey designed for?
A. Ages 3 to 11.
Q. How many CDs do you currently have?
A. We have Volume One, with 10 CDs available, and were already working on Volume Two.
Q. Where can you find Ride Along with Dooey?
A. Our website - www.RideAlongwithDooey.com
Or go to iTunes
Q. What is your own children's favorite thing about Ride Along with Dooey?
A. You know its not the games, its the experience.
We went on a trip and played the games all the way there. Once we got to our destination my son turned to his mom and said we should do this every time we get in the car.
What I take from that is that he was happy he wasnt just sitting in the back being bored looking out the window or with his head buried in a video game.
We were participating, laughing and interacting as a family. Thats priceless!
Q. Do you give back to any organizations?
A. We donate 2 percent of every item we sell to Classroom Central to help ensure that all children living in poverty have all the tools they need to not only learn but to succeed. When equipped with the proper supplies, we believe theres no limit to what children can achieve.
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And be sure to watch our teacher terstimonial video.