Richa Sethi, CEO and Co-founder, GetLitt, speaks about Getlitt – The online Book-Reading App for Kids, its inclusive content library, how it helps kids in cultivating a reading habit, how it stayed connected with its readers during the pandemic, the trends that will shape the ed-tech sector in India, and more.
Richa is an NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) practitioner with more than 20 years of experience working in the startup and FMCG space. A graduate of Management Development Institute, Gurgaon, she has been a business mentor with Technoserve Foundation, USA and Cherie Blair Foundation, UK.
How do GetLitt’s services help in a child’s linguistic development? What are its features, USP?
In early years, children acquire language skills by observing parents and caregivers around them. Stories and books play a very critical role in creating a language rich environment for them which is needed for years to come. And GetLitt! provides easy access to a diverse and curated library of books to children, parents and educators.
At GetLitt! we believe in giving children the power to drive their learning. It is a social community for children that allows them to discover and create stories. For a child, the goals around literacy and learning do not matter. What they want is to just have fun and that too around their friends. GetLitt!’s core is driven by gamification.
Children get Jugnu for every positive action that they take towards reading and expressing their thoughts. They get opportunities to engage with the stories by attempting book trivia quizzes called Book dares, write honest opinions about the books, participate in literary contests and programs giving them a consolidated space around stories.
What was the insight behind GetLitt’s launch, and what response has it achieved?
The genesis of GetLitt! lies in my own experience as a parent. As a mother, I understand the lifelong value that reading brings and I was struggling with questions like what should I be reading to both my kids, how to expose them to diverse stories, where to get access to these books and the biggest of all how to keep them motivated to develop the habit of reading.
The discovery and accessibility of wide range of children’s literature, upskilling them in essential reading skills and lack of an active community around reading were the major pain points behind creating GetLitt! as a solution. Being an online platform, providing active engagement around books to children and 1-click access to best of children’s literature has been received very well by children and parents.
How many active, registered learners do GetLitt! currently cater to,
We currently have 13,000+ registered users on GetLitt! and through our various initiatives have helped close to 500K plus parents in discovering various books, language skill programs, exposure to International contests etc.
The debate of E-Books vs. Print Books is not new. So why should kids, parents opt for GetLitt!?
What is most critical for a parent or an educator is how to get kids excited about reading. Can we afford to miss out on this essential life skill? Our children are digital beings and they are constantly on the digital social spaces feeding their need for stories. As long as our children are falling in love with books – digital or physical format stays immaterial.
Tell us about GetLitt’s collection of curated books and its roster of authors, publishers?
We are consciously curating the library of books on GetLitt! making sure that we create inclusive access to books on various topics and from different countries. We have few of the best publishers from India and across the world like Amar Chitra Katha, Tulika books, Pickle Yolk books, Young Zubaan, Common Deer Press from Canada, Magink from Germany, Mims House from US, Book Dash from South Africa.
There are some path breaking books on gender like Mayil Will Not Be Quiet, adoption – Lonely King and Queen, Death – Gone Grandmother, Disability – Maccher Jhol, Refugee – The Unexpected Friend, funny topics for children like The Poop Book. And these are just a glimpse of the wide range of contemporary children’s literature that we host.
How does GetLitt’s curriculum help in upskilling children’s writing and reading skills?
GetLitt! team comes with a combined 20+ years of experience of working with children on reading & writing skills. We have the most extensive program which has been experienced by more than 3000 kids.
Our deep focus on how to motivate children while exposing them to a wide range of skills – language as well as social-emotional is at the core of our pedagogy. Reading programs are created with the purpose of helping children use every book as a trigger for conversation.
And under that thesis we equip them with skills to strengthen their core skills of comprehension, articulation, critical thinking, vocabulary etc. Using writing as a tool for expression& thinking requires consistent work.
Here the focus is on exposing children to wide ranging topics with hands-on writing prompts, discussions, ideation and feedback on the written work. Writing is a higher order skill and for young children to consistently hone that skill requires coaching and mentoring from our faculty team. And that plays a very critical role in keeping children self-motivated.
Tell us about how GetLitt! is preparing kids for podcasting?
Podcasting has emerged as a new non-intrusive medium – similar to how we would listen to radio shows actively. And India has emerged as the 3rd largest podcasting listening market in the world.
We have constantly looked at providing children various tools to help them express confidently. Podcasting Masterclass was created with that purpose in mind – another emerging tool for expression.
During the Masterclass children get to listen to various types of podcasts – conversations, interviews, storytelling – fiction or non-fiction. They get to create content under each category, get deeper understanding of what topics interest them and also gives them hands-on experience of using podcasting creation and distribution tools.
What are the other initiatives GetLitt! has rolled out to enhance and stimulate its subscribers?
Last few months have been treacherous for everyone especially for children. Thankfully stories have always provided the much needed relief and solace. Our International Reading Olympiad is the only Olympiad around reading that allowed us to bring attention to stories and books.
It allowed children and parents to pick up stories on fortitude, creativity, fun, friends, overcoming obstacles and provided reasons for multiple conversations around stories. The positive outcome has been that on an average every child read 6 books per month on GetLitt!
How has GetLitt been engaging with kids during the pandemic?
We have been continuously launching innovative programs for children during pandemic. Our entire series of unique Masterclasses – Podcasting, Lyrics Writing, Super hero writing and Mystery writing were a huge hit amongst children, to the extent that we had to relaunch multiple editions of the same.
Another favorite initiative of ours has been the Virtual Museum Hunt in partnership with Dr. Bhau Daji Museum – the oldest city museum in Mumbai. Feelings about the hunt are encapsulated in the words of Vivaan Sharma, grade 6 student of Delhi Public School, “The entire activity was wowsome, amid the pandemic, when everything is scary and gloomy.. Today was the most memorable day… Full of excitement and adrenaline rush, also an excellent way to engage and inculcate interest about Indian glorious history in us kids.” We are glad that were successful in bringing cheer to children during the gloomy days of pandemic.
The pandemic has pushed students, parents towards online learning. Do you think the industry will continue to soar once students go back to physical classrooms?
Pandemic has allowed parents to open up to online learning. That has been the biggest shift during this time. But they are also concerned right now about the extended time that children have to spend digitally. Physical school will take away that concern and with added advantage of easy access to world class programs will see a surge in online learning.
What are the trends shaping the ed-tech sector, especially platforms targeting children aged 7-12 years?
60% of children in this age group are consuming or creating content on social platforms meant for adults like Youtube, Tiktok, Instagram etc. The current generation of children are looking at spaces where they are not just consumers but also creators.
They are looking at active participation and engagement. Platforms that allow children tools and a safe space to show their creativity is going to be the trend in the future. Children on GetLitt! have written more than 12K book reviews, achieved more than 20k book dares validating our understanding that children are going to more and more look for such platforms.