- Caribu, an app that lets parents and grandparents read bedtime stories to their children and grandkids virtually, boomed during the pandemic.
- The app grew tenfold in March, and now its co-founder Maxeme Tuchman says its expanding to the classroom and the home office.
- Now, the company is pushing for some employers to offer Caribu as a benefit, which could be helpful for parents working from home with young kids.
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If you’re familiar with Maxeme Tuchman’s background, you wouldn’t be surprised to hear she runs a company that promotes reading and education among children.
Tuchman spent more than two years as the executive director of Teach for America’s Miami-Dade branch starting in 2013. She also previously managed education projects under Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, and Michelle Ree, the former D.C. public schools chancellor.
But it wasn’t until 2016 that Tuchman and her co-founder began building Caribu, a video calling app on iOS, Android, and the web that lets children read and play games with family members remotely.
In fact, the idea originated from a photo the two came across of a soldier video-chatting on a laptop in a coffee shop.
“You see him holding up this huge picture book and facing it toward the laptop,” Tuchman said to Business Insider. “There should be better technology in this day and age for families who are distant from their kids to be able to share that ritual of reading a bedtime story together.”
While the app may be best known for its wide selection of children’s books that adults and children can read together virtually, Caribu also offers coloring sheets, games, drawing tools, and recipes that kids and relatives can cook together. The app comes with 15 free books or activities