Actress Kara Tointon co-founded Tell along with her partner Marius Jensen. When becoming parents 18 months ago, they started to think about how to keep their family connected. Marius is Norwegian so Tell was born in an idea to keep everyone involved in their son Frey’s early years, no matter how far away.
Tell is for everyone. Families can tell and share, build their own memory archive with aunts and uncles, grandparents and create story circles and stay connected.
Kara says ‘We created TELL before the lockdown started as a storytelling app combining storytelling, voice interaction and illustrations, which has become a really nice way for families to stay connected throughout lockdown. The aim is to help children of all abilities to build their confidence with reading whilst bringing people together.”
Launched in December, the pandemic has given the app a new lease of life and seen the audience grow.
“Families are being put in incredibly difficult situations in being separated and not able to come together and it’s fantastic that we could use TELL, even in a small way, to help families connect and take their loved ones’ minds off of everything.I know a grandparent who is setting their alarm at 4 o’clock every day. They’re doing 10 minutes of reading with a cup of tea, and it’s becoming part of the structure of their day.I think we’re all using our time in a different way… So that was really great to hear, and then their grandchild is requesting the next story back.”
Kara also sees Tell as a confidence builder for kids who would rather not stand up and read out loud in class or in a school assembly.
“I want TELL to help kids with their reading out loud, because I know that at school, when you read out loud in front of the class, I just couldn’t do it, unless I was in a comfortable space. You press the Record button. You can be alone. You can read out loud. You can go back and listen to it.”
Kara says they have been inundated with lovely comments from parents who are using TELL to help school their children, and also with children who are unable to see family members, either co-parenting families or those who are sick in hospital who may not be able to see their families during the pandemic.
“I hope that TELL can also support families and help bring them together during these uncertain times bringing the generations together by giving them a unique way to share and enjoy stories and memories about themselves and each other as well as hear their favourite books read by their favourite people!”
Learn more about Tell here