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  • Rachel Barreiros

LIT Celebrity Readers

Updated: May 28, 2019

Famous actors sit down to read aloud children's stories online

The SAG-AFTRA Foundation, (Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television & Radio Artists), a nonprofit organization, offers a free online streaming programming in which famous actors read children's books aloud through their site, an award-winning children's literacy website. I've linked a few of my personal favorites.

Storyline Online receives over 100 million views annually from children all over the world .”

SAG-AFTRA states that reading aloud to children has been shown to improve reading, writing and communication skills, logical thinking and concentration, and general academic aptitude, as well as inspire a lifelong love of reading. The foundation also states that teachers use their streaming program in classrooms and doctors and nurses use it in children's hospitals.

Their Videos Feature Celebrated Actors

This program features actors such as Elijah Wood, (starred as Frodo in Lord of the Rings), Kevin Costner, (starred as Jonathan Kent in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and as Coach Jim White in Disney's Mcfarland, USA), Jillian Estell, (starred as Eloise Anderson in Black or White), Molly Ephraim, (starred as Mandy Baxter in Last Man Standing), James Earl Jones, (the voice of Darth Vader in the Star Wars films and the voice of Mufasa in Disney's The Lion King), Oprah Winfrey, (star in her own television show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and starred as Mrs. Which in A Wrinkle in Time), Chris Pine, (starred as James T. Kirk in the latest Star Trek movies, starred as Steve Trevor in the 2017 movie, Wonder Woman, and as Dr. Alex Murry in A Wrinkle in Time), and also Betty White, ( voice of Round in Disney's Whispers: An Elephant's Tale and voice of Grammy Norma in The Lorax), among many amazing others.

Get Inspired

The story time videos offer storytelling along with creatively produced illustrations, engaging animations and character voices, sound effects and background music as a supportive aid. These videos are provided through their site and available on YouTube. I find these videos to be an excellent way to inspire children to read, explore the vast amount of books available to them, to engage and to get creative after these narrators and stories have been an inspiration to them. The videos are a brilliant connection from book to child and bring stories to life without the hopes of the silver screen realizing every book we love. Every book deserves time and exploration, with or without awards, endorsements, or critiques that render big praise. In today's technological world, young children are spending hours a day online. However, how much of that is educational or inspiring? Today's very busy, professional parents are many times having to turn to tech devices as temporary distractions or sitters for their children. If a child is going to spend time online, these storytelling videos are an enriching way to do so. I absolutely love what this foundation is doing and I give it my most adoring applause.

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