Local company makes it on top ten list for tech toys

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WZZM) -- A West Michigan company's educational tablet is listed as one of the top ten "tech toys" at this year's Toy Fair in New York City. The list was published over the weekend, in USA Today.

The Little Scholar, developed by School Zone, is geared toward children ages three through seven. It uses music, sound, and video.

Barb Peacock is Managing Director at the company located in Grand Haven. "We want it to be a self-contained environment for kids. We want to give them all that educational content we make here, that parents have been using for years." The company was started 36-years ago by Jonathan Hoffman's parents, who were teachers. He is now President of the company. They've gone from publishing flashcards and workbooks to producing digital media. The Little Scholar competes with products from some of the nation's biggest tech-companies like Leap Frog, Vetch, and the I-Pad. "So, one of the things we did to differentiate ourselves is to put all our own APPS on there. There are about 150, self contained, on a tablet."

In the 2014 Toy Fair review by USA Today, the reporter notes its safety features. Kids can't access the Android marketplace, so the content is safe for kids to explore, alone.

"Definitely this toy fair, with little scholar, was our shining moment", says Peacock. The device retails for $199 and can be found online at schoolzone.com


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