The Joneses, a new interactive storybook app geared to African-American children, has launched a fundraising campaign on GoFundMe. With its $35,000 funding goal, the app’s creative team will produce the first two stories in the innovative series.
The Joneses interactive storybook app, named for its central family, will feature stories, games, original songs and other interactive components through which children ages 3 to 10 will learn reading, math, nutrition, emotional health and more.
Michael Lurry, creator of The Joneses, explains his motivation for the series: “If there’s anything the overwhelming success of Marvel’s Black Panther has proved, it’s that representation matters. At a young age, I recognized I was part of a community that wasn’t represented equally in the books I read or the toys I played with. That’s why I wanted to create a series that visually represents today’s Black family.”
Lurry is a writer, illustrator, and graphic designer who has designed and produced youth health education campaigns for the past 20 years. He has worked with the Washington, D.C. and Portland Departments of Health, consulted with New York Presbyterian Hospital, the National Library of Medicine, and many others.
To bring The Joneses to life, Lurry has assembled a talented team of artists, musicians, developers, and marketing strategists, including former Essence editor-in-chief, Angela Burt-Murray, to produce a product he believes will enhance the lives of young black children around the world.
Although there are apps in the marketplace that feature this type of content, there are very few app series of this quality featuring or geared to African-American children. Lurry adds, “I’m hoping that The Joneses will provide a gateway for children of color to see themselves doing things they’d never imagined before.”