Idea Overview:
The mission is to connect children so they are reading more and enjoying reading more and with growing and learning at its heart, Koobool aims for all children to have this opportunity, to engage with books and develop a love for reading. Adopting a focus on breaking down barriers to reading, one of the ways it aims to do this is by providing children with opportunities to publish reviews for books they have read, creatively - through writing, video, picture, audio or using computing - children recommending books, for kids by kids. School workshops will develop reading skills, linking with the curriculum in fun ways.
Who might use it/where it might be used?:
Children are the users but their families play a key role in the success of children's learning. Customers will find value in the offering as it will change their children's experience with books, building confidence, pride and excitement; develop their children's reading skills, providing support for both their children and themselves to develop necessary skills; and they will see their children growing, attaining a better performance and academic success. As the business works towards building a dynamic virtual online service, hosting via an online platform, customers will also be able to connect nationally and globally. Schools, local councils, libraries, youth clubs, home school groups and Saturday clubs will be able to engage and in turn recognise the benefits Koobool has for the children and families they serve.
The Market (B2B, B2C or Both):
Sector the idea belongs to:
Is there a similar idea to be found?:
There are no exact ideas, however in the UK there is one main competitor which was founded in 2014. They provide a written review service for kids by kids and they have more recently opened up to provide a video review service; interestingly, SEM Rush reported the country sending the most traffic to them is the United States. Other UK competitors includes: Love Reading for Kids and the Booktrust - where adults provide written reviews of children books - as well as Kids Book Review and Spaghetti Book club (children write the reviews) who are both based internationally, Australia and US respectively.
Why you think there is a demand for your idea?:
1 in 5 children in England cannot read well by the age of 11 and The National Literacy Trust (2019) reported that only 3 - 4 young people in 10 were reading daily in their own time and that the number of children and young people who enjoyed reading had barely changed since 2005 (53% in 2019, 53.3% in 2013, 50% in 2011 and 51% in 2005). Since the Pandemic, children are reading more and enjoying reading more and Kobool exists to support this upward trend. Now is a key pivotal time in education to nurture this change and linked to the swift changes currently seen with technology, new thinking is needed. Lockdowns have caused families to adopt home schools which has resulted in families becoming more in tune with what their children are learning and at times worried that they are unable to provide appropriate support. Tutoring has increased and The National Tutoring Programme has supported filling in the gaps for learning that was missed. It is important to note that some families are able to embrace these challenges/changes however for many of us, gaps have been identified which feel difficult to meet.
Who would be the ideal customers?:
Families with primary school aged children, including those with children who have barriers to reading. These barriers are linked to children developing emerging reading skills or those with special educational needs however there are other hidden barriers such as: families who struggle to find time to read with their children, including busy parents (e.g. those working full time); parents who speak little English; or parents who themselves have dyslexia or a physical or learning need. Local council education departments and schools/groups across London are also target customers; as well as the new list of 55 cities targeted for support, stated by the government, 3rd Feb 22. Further, book publishers, including independent organisations will benefit from our services.
What ideas do you have to reach these customers?:
Initially customers will be reached through friends, family and recommendations; following the completion of the test groups we will have data to support the idea. Local schools, libraries and other organisations will also be targeted. Marketing will be organic through SM channels, such as Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. We will also partner with local organisations, such as those mentioned above offering opportunities to use the service and collaborate.
How far have you developed this idea?:
We are currently rolling out a test cohort of 8-10 families to verify the start up idea and refine project activities, strategy and income streams. We have spoken to 2 local schools to gage interest in running a test school cohort and a local bookshop.
What – if any – feedback have you had for this idea so far?:
The impact of GDPR is the most important feedback we have had and we have a GDPR consultant to support this area. We are also in the midst of developing a collaboration with a business that provides maths support to families through music. and we are a member of the Somerset House London Hub. We have had a lot of positive, excited comments alongside a concern on how it will make money; grants is an area of consideration to support funding.
What supporting material – if any - would you like to add to your proposal?:
Currently none - We are in the process of running a test cohort so will have some data once it is completed. A working business plan is developed as well as social media and instructional material that is being used with the test cohort.

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6 comments to “Koobool”

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  1. Aquayemi-Claude Akinsanya - August 24, 2022 at 12:03 pm

    Have you thought and would consider informing Neurodiverse charities and make the books Inclusive for Neurodiversity learners, with a blender element of reading?

    • Maxine Binger - September 4, 2022 at 1:47 am

      Hi Aquayemi-Claude, My apologies! I replied to your kind comment a while ago but it does not seem to show as a comment.
      I wanted to thank you for the input regarding neurodiversity. The idea aims to embrace all learners and the creative aspect that draws on art and music taps into this. I did not consider charities however and I will definitely look further into this as well as blended learning in more detail. It’s definitely a community that will benefit. Thanks again.

  2. Mark Cardwell - September 6, 2022 at 6:35 am

    A review platform seems straightforward to deliver, (though attracting and retaining users is always a challenge). School workshops would of course involve a much greater level of cost and complexity.