Our Story

Wimage, LLC is a startup Art and EdTech company launched in 2014 by Michael Hyacinthe, a US Navy Seabee veteran, and is dedicated to cultivating the artistic expression of individuals through creative technology and educational resources. Our team consists of educators, technology developers, entrepreneurs, and parents that have joined together to empower all children to become producers with technology and not just consumers of it.

The Problem

KIDS ARE CONSUMING TECHNOLOGY, NOT CREATING WITH IT. “Low-income children in general, and Latino, Native American, and African-American children particularly are more likely to be consumers of technology than producers.” (De Mars, 2016).

The Solution

“Research finds that students learn more when they use technology to create new content themselves, rather than just being the recipients of content designed by others.” (Darling-Hammond, Zielezinski, Goldman, 2014)

The App

The Wimage application provides kids meaningful tech time by giving them the opportunity to become visual communicators and more creative producers using technology. The ability to think of an idea and instantly see the idea becoming visual can foster students’ creativity, imagination, ideation, and critical thinking. With the Wimage application, students can input a few words, see the images, then manipulate their size, shape, location, and orientation. This helps students begin to understand the importance of vocabulary, design, and visual expression as necessary tools for communication of their thoughts and ideas. Wimage will empower students to become authors, illustrators, and designers all on one platform, all from their very own original ideas.

The Livestream

Our educational livestream show was born in response to COVID-19. After most schools began virtual learning, our team was unable to visit students face-to-face for workshops. As a result, we started Wimee’s Words (co-produced by Kent District Library), a web-based, interactive kids show that encourages imagination, vocabulary building, and storytelling through puppetry, music and wordplay. The livestream allows kids to engage, partner with their parents and teachers, and contribute to the show in various ways.  

Management Team

The Wimage team consist of educators, technology developers, entrepreneurs, parents, and puppets that have joined together to empower all children to become producers with technology and not just consumers of it.

Daniel M. Hyacinthe (Michael)

Michael is the CEO of Wimage, LLC. Michael is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and used his experience with wounded veterans to find a creative and therapeutic outlet for them to express themselves. This compelled him to create the Wimage application, which he then discovered was appropriate for the EdTech and the ArtTech market. 

Kevin Kammeraad

Kevin is the Creative Director for Wimage, LLC as well as part of the Community Engagement Team at Kent District Library. His experience as a children’s author, artist, performer, and presenter/educator over the past twenty years make him an ideal candidate to manage the image of Wimee and to bring the artistic vision of Wimage, LLC to life. Kevin is a master puppeteer and has spent his career performing interactive, inspiring, entertaining, high energy shows at schools, family events, libraries, and festivals. Kevin has a degree in Film & Video Production from Grand Valley State University.

Stephanie Kammeraad

Stephanie is the Education Director for Wimage, LLC. Stephanie has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology/Special Education from Grand Valley State University. She’s formerly a preschool teacher of children on the Autism spectrum, has coordinated and taught various classes and camps over the past fifteen years, and is currently a mentor teacher in the Grand Rapids homeschooling community.

Wimee

Wimee welcomes everyone on their creative journey! He’s featured in the app, performs live in workshops, and can be found every weekday on his live show! He’s a lovable, robotic puppet that loves to make new friends and help kids around the world increase their literacy and storytelling skills.

Learn more in this interview by Cynthia Canty for Stateside on Michigan Radio

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