Rita D. Williams, Ph.D.
Caring with Caribu
Updated: Dec 1, 2020
Recently, I started reading with my great-niece, Annalise, who lives in a different state. We used Zoom, so we could see each other.
At first, we struggled as she tried to hold the pages in front of her tablet cameras, so I could read to her. While she did her best, it was understandably difficult for this four-year-old to hold the book at the right distance and angle from the camera. Most of the time, I could not see the text, so I ended up making up stories as she happily turned the pages. After all, what child wants to constantly hear, “Hold it up higher, honey” or “You’re too close to the camera, sweetie.”
Thankfully, Annalise’s father came to our rescue. He suggested we use Caribu. This app allows both Annalise and me to see the same items as well as each other on our individual screens. She easily picks a book from a wide selection of titles that are appropriate for her age group. Then I read the book as she turns the pages and remarks on the pictures. I love seeing her face as the story and illustrations unfold.
The process is so simple and enjoyable that I also started reading with my youngest godson, Azai. We may eventually check out the games and other activities that are available on Caribu.
Not only does this app help families connect over literature, but it is also a functional tool for educators who want to increase the literacy of their students. Teachers can target students who need additional reading support and use the app to provide one-on-one guidance in their virtual learning environments. Moreover, there are read-along videos that allow children to practice without needing the assistance of a teacher or family member.
Since we are traveling less and staying in more, we must use every available resource to keep from losing our minds. Caribu will help us stimulate the brains of the little people in our lives while invigorating our own. Talk about a win-win situation!