MEET THE CREATORS!
Mr. Derek Collins graduated from Clark Atlanta University and earned his bachelor's degree in Psychology and master's degree in Education specializing in Instruction and Curriculum Development from Central Michigan University.
He is also the owner of the Diversion Center where he operates 6 outpatient treatment programs helping those with addiction, anger management, and social-emotional issues. Mr. Collins is a certified anger management specialist, shoplifting and theft addiction specialist, domestic violence specialist, substance abuse professional and a private practice business consultant.
Mrs. Robbyn Collins graduated from Clark Atlanta University and earned her bachelor's degree in Psychology. She is also a certified alcohol and drug counselor, anger management specialist and shoplifting and theft addiction specialist.
Mr. and Mrs. Collins, both entrepreneurs, stay busy with their multiple businesses and two sets of twins. They have a passion for education and the improvement of their community.
Gifted & Lit was created by Derek Collins; a Black educator/therapist based in Atlanta, GA. His wife, Robbyn Collins, along with Racquel Laborde own Gifted & Lit. Gifted & Lit is 100% Black-owned and the primary focus of business is education and family engagement.
In its inception, Mr. Collins noticed that Hip-Hop had a strong influence on the youth, especially amongst Black males. On his daily commutes to work, Mr. Collins noticed young men walking down the street rapping to themselves. He thought to himself, "Hip-Hop has a strong influence over our youth. If used properly, it can have a positive effect on the subconscious mind."
unfortunately, at that time, and still to this day, many songs negatively influence people on a conscious and subconscious level. Mr. Collins knew, from personal experience, that following the wrong models can lead to poor decision making and negative outcomes. To combat this, Mr. Collins decided to create a program like Schoolhouse Rock, an education program from the ’70s and ’80s.
Schoolhouse Rock used music to teach children social studies, grammar, and other educational content. As a student in the 8th grade, Mr. Collins learned the United States preamble by listening to Schoolhouse Rock.
In 2008, while working as a substitute teacher, Mr. Collins brought an old
Schoolhouse Rock DVD to a kindergarten class to see if it would resonate with the kindergartners. In short, the children loved it! Though the audio and visuals were over 30 years old, the children were engaged. From this experience, Mr. Collins decided he would create a program to help children learn after he saved enough money to fund it. Nine years later, in 2017, 'Gifted & Lit' was born!