The New York-based education technology startup Speakaboos announced on Thursday the release of 10 Sesame Street music videos that will start to roll out on the platform starting today.
Speakaboos, which is available for both the Web and on mobile devices via its app for iOS and Android, offers a library of interactive stories aimed at getting children excited about reading and engaged in learning. Content on the app features the platform's "Read to Me" mode that supports literacy skills by allowing children to read-along by highlighting words to help expand their vocabulary and improve reading comprehension.
"The Speakaboos platform motivates children of all reading levels, helping them become self-confident, independent readers through an award-winning library categorized by children's interests and featuring engaging stories that leverage interactive technology and active learning," Noelle Millholt, COO and co-founder of Speakaboos, told Tech Times. "Rich illustrations, animated characters and touchscreen interactions bring favorite and new stories to life, support comprehension and keep children engaged while learning. Kids love Speakaboos because it's engaging, and parents love Speakaboos because it's educational."
The digital platform already has a library of over 200 curated digital storybooks and songs that are categorized by topics and popular characters and brands such as Thomas the Tank Engine, Angelina Ballerina and Where the Wild Things Are. Now, the startup has teamed up with Sesame Workshop to add Sesame Street content to its lineup.
"Sesame Street is an icon of educational children's media and we're thrilled to now be part of — and add to — that legacy," Millholt said. "Speakaboos and Sesame Workshop share the common goal of delivering the best educational media to children, so this license is a wonderful collaboration. We know Speakaboos subscribers will love how we've enhanced these songs to support literacy skills and spark a love of reading."
The new Sesame Street content features beloved characters, including Elmo, Abby Cadabby and Cookie Monster, who star in their own music videos.
The videos include familiar Sesame Street songs parents and children know and love, which include the read-along word-highlighting function to further encourage children to read. The lessons in the videos vary, with Millholt revealing that "Ladybug's Picnic" will focus on math and vocabulary skills, and "I Love My Hair" will focus on positive self-esteem.
"Characters such as Abby Cadabby, Cookie Monster and, of course, Elmo, resonate so much with parents and children. That level of engagement is very important to Speakaboos. We believe in appealing to a child's interests to spark their love of reading," Millholt said. "Our entire digital library is built around high-interest categories like vehicles, dinosaurs, princesses and animals. If a child is interested in the subject matter, they're more likely to read and read more."
"In fact, on average, children are spending 22 minutes per session on Speakaboos and reading over 50 stories each month," she added. "We're thrilled that we now have a category dedicated to popular Sesame Street songs. We're building the best digital library featuring hundreds of stories for kids to access anytime, anywhere, and the addition of Sesame Street content helps us to continue to deliver on our promise to motivate every child to read."
Available starting Thursday, Feb 18, children can watch the video "Change the World," "Elmo's Ducks" and "Hurray Hurrah for Broccoli." Three more videos, "Elmo's Songs," "I Love My Hair" and "Why Do I Love the Letter Y" will be available starting on Feb. 22.
The month of March will get four more videos, including "Abby Cadabby Sings I Love Words" and "Sing After Me," with Ernie and Elmo on March 7, and "Ladybugs' Picnic" and "Sesame Street Sings the ABC Song," to be released on March 28.
Those interested in registering for a Speakaboos account can take advantage of the platform's free trial. The iOS and Android app used by parents and educators will then cost $4.99 per month for unlimited stories. Families looking to save also have a choice of a six-month subscription for $26.99 or a year subscription for $49.99.