By way of background, I joined Screen Actors Guild in Dallas, Texas in 1971 and I’ve been an active, working member for the past 40-plus years.
It’s well known in the entertainment industry that SAG-AFTRA provides its members with a comprehensive schedule of outstanding benefits, programs, and services. However, many people don’t know that through the SAG-AFTRA Foundation, the union also offers a group of pretty wonderful things to everyone.
Storyline Online is one of the foundation’s special offerings that all parents should be aware of.
Storyline is part of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s award-winning children’s literacy efforts. Storyline Online, streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creative, often profound, and always delightful illustrations. Story readers include Viola Davis, Chris Pine, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Costner, Annette Bening, James Earl Jones, Betty White and dozens and dozens more.
Here’s an example. Just released, Wanda Sykes reads The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake. Watch. It’s a joy.
Storyline Online receives over 100 million views annually from children, parents, and educators all over the world.
Cyd Wilson, Executive Director of SAG-AFTRA Storyline says, “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. Teachers use Storyline Online in their classrooms, and doctors and nurses play Storyline Online in children’s hospitals.”
“Storyline Online is available 24 hours a day for children, parents, caregivers, and educators worldwide. Each book includes supplemental curriculum developed by a credentialed elementary educator, aiming to strengthen comprehension and verbal and written skills for English-language learners.”
Storyline Online is a nonprofit organization that relies entirely on gifts, grants, and donations to fund Storyline Online to produce all of its videos.
I’m personally invested in Storyline’s approach. As a kid growing up in the middle of the great plains of Kansas—in a small town, with a very small library—some of my earliest memories are those of my parents taking turns reading to me at bedtime and then discussing what I’d heard and learned until I fell asleep.
My parent’s reading to me fueled my imagination, challenged me to wonder what if, and provided me with a foundation in spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
I hope you’ll visit Storyline Online and share the stories you’ll find there.
PS. You can help the SAG-AFTRA Foundation create more Storyline Online book-reading videos and new content so that actors, voiceover artist, and entertainers can read to millions of additional children every month. By giving a gift to Storyline Online, you can help SAG-AFTRA advance children’s literacy, and improve children’s lives. Your support makes a world of difference in a world where so many parents don’t have time to read to their kids