Maya Kotecha and Carly Shuler
Co-Founders of Hoot Reading
Carly Shuler and Maya Kotecha are Co-Founders and Co-CEOs of Hoot Reading, a research-based app that helps children develop and improve their independent literacy skills and become critical thinkers so they are able to reach their full potential. Hoot offers one-on-one literacy instruction facilitated by qualified teachers in alignment with a structured literacy approach. Founded in 2017, Carly and Maya have contributed to removing financial barriers to evidence-based education, improved equitable access to teachers, and changed thousands of lives through literacy. With over 18 years of experience in marketing, corporate strategy, and business development, Maya’s passion for children’s literacy is inspired by one of her children’s learning difference, and having worked at the intersection of children’s technology, education, and media for almost two decades, Carly is a literacy expert experienced in leveraging the power of technology to advance reading skills for children.
In 2022, Maya and Carly won the Tech & Learning Best of School 2022 impact award for creating a product that addresses pandemic learning loss, staff shortages, and urgent literacy needs; they completed original research — Teacher-Led Solutions to the Literacy Crisis — which was selected to be presented at the World Literacy Summit to over 40,000 literacy advocates and leaders around the world; they developed their own decodable book collection that prioritizes diverse storylines, characters, and cultures to ensure that every child can be represented in evidence-based learning materials; and created a partnership with TalentLift Canada and Scotiabank to help newcomer children from refugee backgrounds feel at home in Canada faster through teacher-student bonding and one-on-one tutoring support. If that wasn’t already impressive enough, in 2022, Carly and Maya donated free and urgent literacy intervention for a First Nations elementary school in rural Ontario to help students tackle pandemic learning loss, and they donated free tutoring programs and library access to children staying in long-term medical care to help families transition in and out of school.