Your Favorite Actors Read Your Favorite Stories

Big capital S and O combine in front of words Storyline Online, over the silhouettes of rooftops.

By Jessica L.

What do Viola Davis, Sean Astin, Allison Janney, and Rami Malek have in common? They like to read books to children! Storyline Online, an award-winning children’s online literacy program, recruits a wide selection of actors to read children’s books for Grades K-4. While similar to the after school television program Reading Rainbow, positive differences come from the stories being available 24/7 and how you can see the reader enjoying the story, too.

You may sort stories by author, title, reader, and (my favorite) run time. Stories range 5-21 minutes, which is helpful when that request of, “Five more minutes, please?!” arises. After you choose your story, you’ll be asked which video player you prefer (SchoolTube, YouTube, or Vimeo) which is saved as your preference. What’s more, you can share what you’re learning via Facebook, Twitter, or email. Storyline Online has an app, a blog, and an array of social media platforms they use to inform folks when new books are available. 

You can certainly use this entertaining, supplementary educational resource while learning from home. Each story includes curriculum-driven learning activities created by accredited elementary educators. Parents and teachers alike will find the site easy to navigate and user friendly. It may even provide an opportunity for you to allow your children independent screen time. This is distance learning gold!  

More than 60 books are active on the site, with more on the way. Storyline Online is currently featuring books which celebrate Black stories and Black voices. I recently chose “Rent Party Jazz” by William Miller, read by Viola Davis, geared to Grades 2-3 and 11 minutes long. I evaluated the activities for parents and teachers and found them to be well-written, excellent tools for their respective target audiences. 

Storyline Online is a fantastic way to experience your favorite actors’ storytelling on-demand while learning from home. I’m personally hoping Keanu Reeves will read my favorite children’s book, The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams Bianco. I’m just not sure how many more times I can @storylineonline. Believe me: you’re never too old to enjoy a good read-aloud! You can find it along with HCLS’ other eContent for Kids.

JP has worked for HCLS since 2006. She enjoys bonfires and spins a mean dreidel.

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