March 24, 2020 - DALLAS, USA: To help keep families connected during this uncertain time, AT&T is funding 60 days of free access and unlimited usage of Caribu, a video-calling application that allows family members to read, draw, and play games with one another while in distant locations. The Caribu application, which integrates children's books, coloring activities, and games will be available to families across the country and around the world, free of cost, for the next two months.
“Caribu was created to make families feel like they’re together when circumstances won’t allow it,” founder Max Tuchman said. “This is a challenging time for all of us. So, whether it’s reading a bedtime story with a grandparent who’s a thousand miles away – or one who can’t leave their home just down the street – this contribution from AT&T lets us keep those important connections alive.”
With thousands of popular book titles and activities available, Caribu is both a learning and a social tool that can bring families closer together and battle the isolation many will face over coming weeks. AT&T has supported Caribu through its Aspire Accelerator program, and is providing an additional $560,000 contribution to underwrite the app for free during this time of crisis.
This contribution is part of AT&T’s newly launched $10 million Distance Learning and Family Connections Fund, created to support distance learning and social bonding resources, such as Caribu, over the coming months. Through this new fund, AT&T also made a $1 million contribution to Khan Academy to improve and expand online learning resources to meet growing demand from parents, teachers and students, including those who rely on free resources and need Khan Academy the most.
The Caribu app is available for phones and tablets through the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Getting started is easy – users simply download the app, sign up for a free account, and send family members an invitation to join Caribu Contacts. Caribu works just like FaceTime or Skype – tap on the green Family button and then on a contact’s name to start a call. Users can now browse the in-app library to begin reading and drawing together while seeing and hearing each other through video.
“Caribu provides families a unique way to stay connected as we’re all challenged by distance,” said Charlene Lake, SVP, Corporate Social Responsibility and Chief Sustainability Officer, AT&T. “As we work together to navigate the realities associated with COVID-19, we know how important it is for family members to stay close even if they can’t be physically present. There’s never been a more important time to help Max and her small business scale this valuable work.”
The health and safety of the people within the communities where we live and work is our top priority. Our COVID-19 Response website will continue to provide up-to-date information on what we’re doing to support our customers, communities and employees.
“As communities across the country continue to practice extensive social distancing, older adults – arguably our most vulnerable population – face a myriad of challenges,” said Debra Berlyn, executive director of Project GOAL (Get Older Adults Online). “Alongside health concerns, many older adults are battling increased feelings of isolation. Innovative digital tools like Caribu help individuals stay connected to family, friends and loved ones during this difficult time, and it’s encouraging to see the technology offered at no-cost through AT&T’s support.”
More Ways We’re Keeping Students Connected
With an estimated 54.5 million students learning from home across the U.S., we’re also underwriting the State Educational Technology Directors Association’s Coalition for eLearning. The coalition is compiling and providing resources on eLearning for state education agencies and school districts across the country at no cost.
In addition, AT&T is pleased to help underwrite the new TIME for Kids digital library, which will be available to students around the world for free for the remainder of the school year. Caribu was named one of TIME’s 2019 Best Inventions.
Finally, AT&T* is stepping up to enable virtual classrooms across America. AT&T is offering schools a way to save on unlimited wireless broadband connectivity for students. Through May 22nd, qualified schools activating new lines on qualified data-only plans for school-issued tablets, 4G LTE-enabled laptops and hotspot devices will get the wireless data service at no cost for 60 days.1
And schools know they need to protect their students while online – which is why AT&T is also making AccessMyLANTM for the qualified lines available at no cost for 60 days.1 This service allows school administrators to manage the internet sites their students can access to help protect them from unsafe content and also to block malicious sites, malware and hacking attempts.
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