Friday, August 15, 2014

SAG Foundation: Storyline Online

Celebrities with books:
Reading them.
Standing near them.
Talking about them.
Posed with them. (See: Benedict Cumberbatch on the cover of An English Room. Yeah, I have a copy.)

If I know there's a celebrity with a book in that link, I'm totally going to click it. Click it good.

Thanks to that very compulsion, I recently discovered Storyline Online. The website, sponsored by the Screen Actors Guild Foundation, houses free videos of celebrities reading children's books.

My parents read to me almost every day, for probably the first 10 or 12 years of my life. Computers, the Internet, and even audiobooks weren't part of growing up for me. I absolutely adored those scroll-through computer things at the library. Those machines where you would listen along with a book and "turn the page" when the recording made a certain beep. And I loved the story time read-to-kids programs at the library as well. I'm so grateful my parents made these things happen for me.

But the reality is that it can't happen for everyone. Parents work a lot. Libraries are closing, staffs are reduced, and services aren't available or easy to access anymore. And although the internet is not universally available for everyone at home, it's still reaching plenty of kids. Which is why I think this website is so dang cool. Let a kid be read to by someone who, by their acting nature, is a great reader. Let those talents engage kids with books and reading. For free.

Huzzah to you, SAG Foundation!

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