Kids Discover & Rhino Records to Release Free Units Celebrating Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin & Curtis Mayfield for Black History Month

The units explore the lives and careers of the musical pioneers through interactive videos, music, and original art

Kids Discover, a leading provider of high-interest nonfiction for social studies and science, has partnered with Rhino Records, the catalog division of Warner Music Group, to celebrate Black History Month by releasing three free units honoring classic Atlantic Records artists Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin as well as Curtom Records’ Curtis Mayfield. Each of these units, featuring music, original album art, and more, will be freely available on the Kids Discover website for the entire month of February.

Designed to shine a light on the lives and impact of these music industry legends, the free units engage students in grades 3–8 through music and raise awareness of Black contributions to the arts and society. Educators can choose from three different Lexile levels for use in grades 3–4, 5–6, or 7–8. To make the materials available to as many students as possible, the free units do not require a registered account or login.

“In the past, we’ve always made a number of units in our library free to celebrate Black History Month,” said Ted Levine, the President and CEO of Kids Discover. “Given what has transpired in our country over the past few years, we took time to reflect on what else we could do to share the stories and impact of Black history and culture. In July, we released a five-part pledge, two tenets of which were to increase the number of stories we tell about Black figures in American history and to collaborate with organizations that share this vision. We’re excited to partner with Rhino to offer engaging, multimedia content that will educate and inspire students while highlighting the impact these three figures have had on our history and culture.”

“The Curtis Mayfield Estate is excited that Curtis Mayfield, one of soul music’s driving forces, record industry pioneer, and author of some of the most uplifting anthems behind the Civil Rights Movement, will be featured in the Kids Discover Black History Month program,” said Cheaa Mayfield, son of Curtis Mayfield.

“We are so excited to partner with Kids Discover to share the incredible legacies of these iconic artists with the next generation of music fans during Black History Month,” said Alicia Yaffe, Senior Vice President of Global Catalog Development & Marketing for Warner Music Group. “Educating students about the extraordinary lives of Aretha, Curtis, and Ray is essential in providing a greater understanding of the vital role that arts and artists play in society. We look forward to the meaningful conversations that will be generated by these lessons.”

Each of the new units offers:

  • Three articles of approximately 600-700 words each;
  • Interactive multimedia resources such as tracks from the artists, videos, and original art created by Kids Discover; and
  • Original album art and rights-cleared music provided by Rhino Records, who oversees the Atlantic Records catalog.

To access these units, which will remain free at least through March 2021, visit

The American Consortium for Equity in Education, publisher of the "Equity & Access" journal, celebrates and connects the educators, associations, community partners and industry leaders who are working to solve problems and create a more equitable environment for historically underserved pre K-12 students throughout the United States.

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