Story31 revives age-old stories through contemporary narratives
Back in the day, stories for children were either granny’s bed-time tales or fairy tales such as, Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and Beauty and the Beast. As time passed, children grew up with Tom & Jerry, The Flintstones, The Jetsons and Pokemon.
Now, with an explosion of technology, story-telling for children is significantly through online games and animated series. Perhaps a reason why, though story-telling has evolved, the art of teaching life lessons to children seems to have retreated with the invasion of new-age culture. Story31, an online portal available both as a website and an application is trying to bridge this gap between traditional life-lessons and contemporary story-telling. “It’s primarily a platform that delivers interactive, animated stories that introduce a child to the world around them,” says Satvik Shahpur, co-founder, Story31. Launched in October last year as a website that customised hard-bound story books for children, Story31 has now metamorphosed as an app. “We had been working on this idea for more than a year, and only after we had developed substantial content, we started with printed books, which was last year,” explains Shahpur, adding, “These were available on our website on order. We wanted to test our concept by starting out as an offline product.”
The books received a positive response from parents who were looking for an alternative to television and video games. From here, there was no looking back for the team, that includes co-founder Sunil Kumar.
How it works
The website and the application currently feature four animated stories — the first story can be personalised by entering the child’s name, “The child learns to spell his name by meeting animals. Each of these are as per the letters of his/her name,” says Shahpur. Through the second story, one learns about different animal sounds. In the third story, responsibilities at home are introduced in a fun way: by helping the father’s character shop for groceries. The fourth story introduces emotions through sounds and expressions. Shahpur explains, “Parents had given us feedback that their children don’t go beyond the phrase, ‘I don’t like it,’ to express their dislike, so in this story, the child will be taught different ways of expressing through new words and exclamations.” The fourth story helps in building a family picture.
These animated tales are up for trial on the website and on the app. Aimed at children between 0-6 years, the animation and content have been developed by the co-founders. “But we have whetted the content by education experts before launching it,” says Shahpur. With the next set of stories ready to go online, the team has planned to update the app with four to five tales every month. Trial lasts for a week, after which users will have to subscribe for either monthly, quarterly or yearly plans. Additionally, Story31 adheres to the COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) Regulations, so the website and app are completely child-friendly sans unsolicited advertisements or content.
— Ayesha Tabassum