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Our Support for Parents during Covid 19

Dear Parents,

We hope you and your family members are all safe and healthy amidst this pandemic we are facing. Just like many countries who have been forced to go into a complete lockdown and work from home, the BookBox team is also in the same situation.

We understand how difficult it is for you to find good online resources that are age appropriate and will keep your children occupied while doing something meaningful. As you know, AniBooks are not only entertainment for kids but they subconsciously improve their reading skills! We know many schools have started online classes and are looking for good resources.

So, here is a collection of all the free content we have:

For a nominal onetime purchase of our AniBooks, you can get the following benefits:

  • No ads, no waiting!

  • Offline access with an account on BookBox.com

  • Activities PDFs for select stories & languages

  • Get a customized AniBook with your voice as the narrator

  • Get your activities features on our social media and newsletters

  • Dedicated Customer Support, response time less than 24 hours

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Our Support for Schools during Covid 19

Dear Teachers & School Administrators,

We hope you and your family members are all safe and healthy amidst this pandemic we are facing. Just like many countries who have been forced to go into a complete lockdown and work from home, the BookBox team is also in the same situation.

Teachers, we understand how difficult it is for you to find good online resources that are age appropriate and will keep your children occupied while doing something meaningful.

As you know, AniBooks are not only entertainment for kids but they subconsciously improve their reading skills! We know many schools have started online classes and are looking for good resources.

This is our way of helping all of you in this crisis:

  • Choose 20 or more AniBooks and get a 50% discount.

  • The annual license fee per AniBook has been slashed from $20 to $10.

  • This is applicable for unlimited classes and children for one school.

  • Activities in PDF format available for select stories & languages

  • Free Learning Pack: Audio Book (mp3) and Story Text (2 page PDF).

Choose the number of AniBooks and the languages according to the plan from here: https://bookbox.com/shop/

Fill up the order form available here and email it to license@bookbox.com and our team will help with the rest.

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‘The First House’ – An Audio Visual Story by BookBox

In early November, I conducted a reading session with students of grade 4 at
the Intaya Public School in Arunachal Pradesh in the north-eastern part of
India. An audio-visual version of my book called the ‘First House’ was shown to
the children. The story is a folktale of the Singpho tribe that describes how the
first house was built in a faraway land with the cooperation of forest creatures.
The folktale was first narrated and then by showing the BookBox animation
film, five strategies were used to improve comprehension and literacy and
here are they!

  • The audio was muted so that students could retell the story in their own words by watching the ‘silent’ film.
  • The running text was hidden and students were asked to write down parts of the story just by listening to the narration.
  • The film was stopped mid-way and students had to imagine and then narrate the rest of the story in English or in their mother tongue.
  • The film was frozen at particular points and students noted down names of things they saw in the picture.
  • The cursor was fixed on a particular word of the text to help students notice spellings and pronunciation of unfamiliar words.

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Story viewing Session with Children

Based in the heart of the town, Ramakrishna School is funded and supported by the Ramakrishna Trust. Starting from Primary to higher secondary, they have an average of 600 students.

Had a wonderful story viewing session with children where we shared our latest stories and overall got an amazing response. The stories where primarily on Environmental issues and hygiene which were well received by the children and as well the teachers. We conducted activities around the stories like Q&A, read long with the stories and storytelling by children in their own words. We were happy to see the children enthusiastically participate and looking forward for more of our stories.

On the other hand, had quite an informative discussion with the teachers and headmistress on how our stories are helping children improve their vocabulary. Teachers even use some of our stories in their English classes. The headmistress was indeed very happy while talking to us about the event and prompted us for regular visits.

Over all, it was a good exchange of knowledge for all of us.

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Celebrating Independence Day at Ramakrishna Primary School

Based in the heart of the town, Ramakrishna School is funded and supported by the Ramakrishna Trust. Starting from Primary to higher secondary, they have an average of 600 students.

Interaction with Children

On the occasion of Independence Day, we conducted a small event at the school for the class 3rd and 4th children where we played our Dr. Kalam & Dr. Kiran Bedi childhood stories. Children were enthusiastic in telling us the moral of the stories and some were even good at narrating it to us in their own words. We had an interactive session with the children wherein we discussed their dreams and aspirations.

We also conducted a story telling session and explained to the children how to create compost with vegetable waste at home and how it’s beneficial for the plants. They were very enthusiastic and many wanted to plant and make compost.

A coloring session with the children, where each one were exploring with colors.

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Research Content

Same Language Subtitling (SLS) is the idea of subtitling (or captioning) audio-visual content in the ‘same’ language as the audio. Word for word, what you hear is what you read, in perfect timing.

Does SLS cause automatic reading engagement among good and struggling readers?

d’Ydewalle et al.’s (1991) eye-tracking research found that American subjects watching an English movie with SLS and Dutch subjects watching a Dutch movie with SLS, spent considerable time in the subtitle area. Reading SLS was inevitable and comparable for both groups, even though the Dutch subjects had much more experience with subtitles on TV. Reading SLS did not depend much on habit formation.

d’Ydewalle and Rensbergen (1989) recorded the eye-movements of young children while watching SLS on cartoons. The viewing patterns of 4th and 6th Grade children did not differ much from adult readers. However, 2nd Grade children’s reading of SLS depended on the content watched – they read on ‘Garfield’ (verbally heavy) but much less on ‘Popeye’ (action-oriented).

Several other studies have confirmed that reading along with SLS is inescapable, but the subjects have almost always been good readers. Hence, the critical question is, would struggling readers, especially those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, also try and engage automatically with SLS?

PlanetRead (2018) completed an eye-tracking study of government school children in Grades 2-5 in rural Rajasthan, India, by showing them animated stories with and without SLS. It is an understatement that the subjects were struggling readers from low-income families. Most children (94%) engaged with SLS, exhibiting an increasing number of eye-fixations on the subtitles, with grade. The story at a ‘low’ level of reading difficulty (81 simple words/min) invited the most reading engagement, followed by the ‘medium’ one (82 words/min), but SLS was mostly ignored in the ‘high’ difficulty story (111 words/min).

The primary conclusion is that almost all viewers who are beginning, struggling or good readers, will automatically engage with SLS. SLS just cannot be ignored.

Does SLS exposure lead to improved reading skills?

The idea of leveraging Closed-Captioning (CC) on TV to enhance the reading skills of struggling readers, is as old as CC itself (Koskinen et al., 1986) but longitudinal studies are few. Linebarger et al. (2010) commented on one such by Koskinen et al. (1997): “In a longitudinal study of continuous caption use in the home, children who viewed with captions scored significantly higher on normative tests of word identification and passage comprehension when compared with non-caption viewers.”

In Linebarger et al.’s (2010) study with struggling readers in Grades 2-3 from economically disadvantaged urban locations in the US, SLS exposure was limited to just six 30-minute episodes from children’s TV. Still, “The majority of outcomes… indicated that children who viewed with captions outperformed their counterparts who viewed without captions,” and the improvement was most pronounced among children at risk for poor reading outcomes.

Similarly, in New Zealand, Parkhill & Johnson (2009) found that in their six-week ‘AVAILLL’ programme for children aged 5-13 years, which uses popular, subtitled movies and accompanying novels to engage students in reading literacy, the greatest gains occurred for ‘low-progress’ readers. A positive impact was also observed for average and higher-level readers.

A number of longitudinal studies have come out of the SLS project in India. Kothari and Bandyopadhyay (2014) evaluated the impact of SLS after sustaining it for 5 years on a weekly hour-long programme of Hindi film songs telecast nationally in prime time. Among school children who could not read a single letter in Hindi at the baseline (2002), 70% in the high-SLS viewing group became functional readers by the endline (2007) as compared to 34% in the low-SLS group. In the 15+ age group, 14% in the high-SLS and 5% in the low-SLS group went from non-decoding to functional-reading. Adults gained too but children benefited substantially more in what can be described as a schooling + SLS effect.

Given the SLS project’s goal of persuading broadcast policy in India to require SLS on all the film songs shown on TV in India, in every language, a maximum SLS exposure of an hour a week, albeit for 5 years, was still too little. That was addressed in Maharashtra state where, for 2 years, SLS had a strong broadcast presence on around 20 Marathi films per week (only the songs were subtitled) on two of the most popular Marathi channels (Kothari and Bandyopadhyay, 2015). The Gujarat (control) and Maharashtra samples were comparable at the baseline (2013). By the endline (2015), in Maharashtra, 68% in Grade 3 could read at Grade 1 level or better as compared to 43% in Gujarat.

The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) independently found that over the same 2-year period, Maharashtra outperformed all states – 9% more children in Grade 5 were able to read a Grade 2 level text, as compared to no gain nationally. Among those who got regular SLS exposure, 30% more children in the early grades achieved basic reading ability. The impact of SLS on reading skills was considerably stronger for children in Grades 2-3. A separate study of SLS on TV in Gujarat state confirms its value on film songs for reading literacy (Kothari et al., 2004). What about SLS on children’s TV?

Universally, children love to watch cartoons. PlanetRead (2018a) found that struggling readers cannot but attend to SLS on animated stories. Does that contribute to reading skills? Linebarger et al. (2010) and Linebarger (2001) provide evidence that it does, while underscoring the importance of captions, “especially for children who might not have access to print.”

PlanetRead (2018b) conducted a year-long study in 10 primary schools in rural Delhi serving children in Grades 1-5 from low-income families. In 5 treatment schools, the teachers showed all the children in Grades 1-4, 30 minutes of animated stories in Hindi with SLS, three times a week. From a comparable starting point, the average reading score in the treatment schools was 70% higher than the control schools. The impact of the intervention on reading was most apparent in Grades 2-3, pointing again to the strong complementarity of SLS, during the early stages of reading acquisition.

The benefits of SLS or CC are not limited to reading literacy. For an overview of the range of benefits attributable to SLS – including reading, media access and language acquisition – see Gernsbacher (2015).

References

  • d’Ydewalle, G., Praet, C., Verfaillie, K., & Rensbergen, J. V. (1991). Watching Subtitled Television: Automatic Reading Behavior. Communication Research, 18(5), 650–666.

  • d’Ydewalle, G., & Van Rensbergen, J. (1989). Developmental studies of text-picture interactions in the perception of animated cartoons with text. In H. Mandl & J. R. Levin (Eds.), Advances in psychology, 58. Knowledge acquisition from text and pictures (pp. 233-248). Oxford, England: North-Holland.

  • Gernsbacher, Morton Ann. “Video Captions Benefit Everyone” Policy insights from the behavioral and brain sciences vol. 2,1 (2015): 195-202.

  • Koskinen, P.S., Bowen, C.T., Gambrell, L.B., Jensema, C.J. & Kane, K.W. (1997). Captioned television and literacy development: Effects of home viewing on learning disabled students. Paper presented at the Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL.

  • Koskinen, P. S., Wilson, R. M., Gambrell, L. B., & Jensema, C. J. (1986). Using closed captioned television to enhance reading skills of learning disabled students. National Reading Conference Yearbook, 35, 61-65.

  • Kothari, B., & Bandyopadhyay, T. (2014). Same language subtitling of Bollywood songs on TV: Effects on literacy. Information Technologies & International Development, 10(4), 31–47.

  • Kothari, B. & Bandyopadhyay, T. (2015). An innovation to raise a nation’s reading skills: Scale up of Same Language Subtitling (SLS) on Zee in Maharashtra,

  • An innovation to raise a nation’s reading skills: Scale up of Same Language Subtitling (SLS) on Zee in Maharashtra

  • See also: What caused Maharashtra’s leap in reading?

  • Kothari, B., Pandey, A., & Chudgar, A. (2004). Reading out of the “idiot box”: Same-language subtitling on television in India. Information Technologies & International Development, 2(1), 23–44.

  • Linebarger, D., Piotrowski, J. T., & Greenwood, C. R. (2010). On-screen print: The role of captions as a supplemental literacy tool. Journal of Research in Reading, 33(2), 148-167.

  • Parkhill, F., & Johnson, J. (2009). An unexpected breakthrough for rapid reading improvement: AVAILLL uses movies so students read it, see it and get it. set: Research Information for Teachers, 1, 28−34.

  • Eye tracking research in government schools, AniBooks: Scalable and likeable, but readable?. AniBooks: Scalable and likeable, but readable?

  • Project Report on implementation of AniBooks in government schools for early grade reading. AniBooks for early-grade reading.
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Meet the BookBoxers!

Yes, here we are, a family of fun loving people. We play cricket and board games,
we drink filter coffee while watching the sun set on the beautiful beach right next to our office
and we love to eat good food.

Oh yes, almost forgot, we also make all these beautiful AniBooks for you!

Brij Kothari
CEO

[linkedin= https://in.linkedin.com/in/brij-kothari-1a422]

Nirav Shah
COO

[linkedin= https://www.linkedin.com/in/niravonline ]

Parthibhan Amudhan
General Manager

[linkedin= https://www.linkedin.com/in/parthibhan79 ]

Sweta
Senior Project Manager

[linkedin= https://www.linkedin.com/in/sweta-sravankumar ]

Victor Lourdaraj
Accounts Officer

[linkedin= https://www.linkedin.com/in/victor-lourduraj, facebook= https://www.facebook.com/Victorlraj ]

Arvind Kumar
R & D

[twitter= https://twitter.com/apostleofzion ]

Vijay Shinalkar
Operations Manager, Mumbai

Hema Jadwani
Research Consultant

Regis
Senior Graphic Designer

Rajeshwar
Graphic Designer

[linkedin= https://www.linkedin.com/in/raj-eshwar-4097887b/ , facebook= https://www.facebook.com/rajeshwar92a ]

Sylvia
Project Manager

[linkedin= https://in.linkedin.com/in/sylvia-mariadassou ]

Arun Bala
Project Manager

[linkedin= https://www.linkedin.com/in/arunbala27/ , facebook= https://www.facebook.com/Balaarun27 ]

Vigneshwar
Trainee, Quality Control

Francis
Office Assistant

Santholya
Cook

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A Day at Deepsthal Learning Centre

Deepsthal Learning Centre is an educational initiative of Pyar Trust based in Pondicherry for the less privileged children to promote education and learning.

With the help of Darshana, a volunteer at Deepsthal, we got an opportunity to showcase our AniBooks to the children. After a general introduction with the children of 6-13 years old, we played the childhood anecdotes of Dr. Kalam & Kiran Bedi and an animal story ‘The Four Friends’ in English & Tamil.

Children loved the AniBooks and enjoyed reading out the subtitles while watching the stories. Some even narrated the stories in their own words. We had an interactive session with the children and they were prompt with their responses to our queries.

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Friends Section

Friends


PlanetRead is a not for profit organization with the simple mission of creating a reading planet – a planet where everyone can read and has access to interesting and affordable reading opportunities in native and other language(s).

https://www.planetread.org/


Chie Media is an e-learning company based out of Bangalore, India. They bring the smart-channel experience to digital devices and also deliver end-to-end smart channel services– which includes content sourcing, content repurposing, application development and smart-channel operations.
http://www.chiemedia.com/


LEAD School is an academic excellence system that delivers excellent curriculum using technology in India. It ensures excellent learning for every student and excellent teaching for every teacher. Visit us to know more!

https://www.leadschool.in/homepage.html


Auroville international translators is a multilingual team of translators, all native speakers, in the Auroville International Township, India. Avitra’s services comprise.

http://www.avitra.net/index.html

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Media

Product Review: Animal Stories BookBox Series Video
By Momma’s Becon
Mommasbacon, March 2, 2002

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Praesent et fermentum odio. Nulla ornare dapibus tellus, non iaculis arcu placerat vel. Quisque id tincidunt mi. Morbi erat tortor, ornare id elementum maximus, congue a enim. Proin commodo nisl quis dolor pretium lacinia. Mauris nec lacus tempus, semper massa et, efficitur dui.

<beta>
By Momma’s Becon
Mommasbacon, March 2, 2002

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Praesent et fermentum odio. Nulla ornare dapibus tellus, non iaculis arcu placerat vel.

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Customer Stories Section

Customer Stories

“I teach English – and BookBox has changed my life. It’s fantastic in many, many ways.”

– A teacher from Geneva, Switzerland.

“Your product is distinctly different from what is available.. and sorely needed. As an ELL teacher, I can see that this resource has the potential for being in high demand to content teachers..”

– ELL Teacher from, Massachusetts, United States

I believe that your site is invaluable not only for children but for adults too. I am personally using it and plan to get a firm grounding in several languages that way.

– An adult language learner

I just stumbled upon your website and I love it!!! I am planning on using it in my French language classroom.

– A French teacher

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Awards Section

Awards & Recognitions

We use Same Language Subtitling (SLS), which is a globally recognized innovation for improving reading, language learning and mass literacy.

SLS has been recognized by UNESCO, World Bank, Google Foundation, Library of Congress, USAID, Ashoka, Schwab Foundation, Tata Trusts to name a few.

Visit PlanetRead Awards to know more about SLS.

WINNER
Best Content
DVD Awards Foundation, India 

WINNER
First Place Winner
KIDS FIRST!  USA

WINNER
Winner
Dr. Toy’s Ten Best Audio-Video Products, USA 

WINNER
Winner
Dr. Toy’s 100 Best Children’s Products, USA

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Our Story

BookBox was born in 2004 after winning a business plan competition at Stanford University. We are basically a social enterprise with the vision of creating a “book” for every child around the world in his or her language. We are based out of Pondicherry India and also have a partner office in the US.

We have been on a mission to make reading fun and automatic for children around the world. It is a well known universal fact that children love animation. By adding Same Language Subtitling (SLS) to something that children already love, we are giving them subconscious reading practice.

We therefore create animated stories powered by SLS. We call them ‘AniBooks’. We make these AniBooks available on YouTube, broadcast television, and mobile channels. The platform agnostic quality of AniBooks allows for mass distribution at minimal cost.

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Our Blog
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Featured AniBooks
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About AniBooks


In our conception, a ‘book’ is a reading experience that can travel any audio-visual media platform, including print.  We, therefore, innovated the ‘AniBook’ or animated book, to support early reading and language skills. 

AniBooks flow from a simple fact – children love to watch cartoons. Thus, AniBooks are animated stories for children, with the narration appearing on-screen as Same Language Subtitles (SLS). Every word is highlighted in perfect timing with the audio narration, thus strengthening reading skills, automatically and subconsciously.

More than 500+
AniBooks
In over 50+
Languages
Crossed 100 Million views
on YouTube
Reached 500K
Subscribers on YouTube

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About AniBooks

In our conception, a ‘book’ is a reading experience that can travel any audio-visual media platform, including print.  We, therefore, innovated the ‘AniBook’ or animated book, to support early reading and language skills. 

AniBooks flow from a simple fact – children love to watch cartoons. Thus, AniBooks are animated stories for children, with the narration appearing on-screen as Same Language Subtitles (SLS). Every word is highlighted in perfect timing with the audio narration, thus strengthening reading skills, automatically and subconsciously.

START WATCHING[link= https://bookbox.com/product/zippy-the-zebra/]

More than 500+/AniBooks,In over 50+/Languages, Crossed 100 Million views/on YouTube, Reached 500K/Subscribers on YouTube

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Become a Patron

This Thanksgiving and Holiday Season, we ask you to make a small contribution of $1, $5, or more, to give the gift of reading to your kids and many less fortunate children around the world. For every $500 you – our supporters – contribute collectively, BookBox will produce a new title in English and one other language in which children need more books.

Happy Holidays and thank you for supporting global literacy!