A new nationwide reading movement has been organized in response to the mass homeschooling the country is facing during the coronavirus pandemic.
Misty Copeland, Danica McKellar, Tiffani Thiessen, Brady Smith, B. J. Novak, and Scott Kelly will be among the bestselling and award-winning authors and illustrators participating in the daily storytimes.
Reading aloud daily is “one of the most effective ways to foster early literacy and is a key factor in building language and social skills,” the campaign says.
The program was set to launch this summer, but it revved into overdrive to help parents and caregivers during the outbreak, which kicked off Monday.
The program was launched by publishing giant Penguin Random House in partnership with Parents magazine. Penguin will also donate 750,000 copies of books through First Book, which helps get books to kids in need.
The program joins a hodgepodge of celebrity efforts to help kids learn at home. Another big one is spearheaded by Jennifer Garner and Amy Adams, who teamed up with Save the Children and No Kid Hungry. Their movement, #SaveWithStories, has recruited other celebs to read their favorite children’s books for kids—and their parents. So far, Ellen DeGeneres, Jimmy Fallon, Ron Howard, Josh Gad, Camila Cabello, Reese Witherspoon, Beanie Feldstein and Senator Kamala Harris have joined them.
Amazon, meanwhile, has lifted the paywall for original and acquired children’s series on its Prime Video platform, so all Amazon users can watch their kids programing. Among the original titles available are Pete the Cat, Just Add Magic, Costume Quest, Peg + Cat and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and acquired shows including PBS Kids staples Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Dinosaur Train, Odd Squad and Arthur.