The coronavirus outbreak has led to an agreement between former first lady Michelle Obama, publishers, and taxpayer-funded public television for a weekly storytelling program for children who are at home because schools across the country are shuttered.
Penguin Young Readers, Random House Children’s Books, and PBS Kids announced they have recruited Obama for a four-week series that started on Monday.
“‘Mondays with Michelle Obama’ will kick off a four-week series of videos that will feature Mrs. Obama reading aloud from beloved children’s books, one book every Monday through May 11,” the press release announcing the series said.
Join us for “Mondays with @MichelleObama!” In this weekly read-along series, she’ll read 4 of her favorite children’s books (one book every Monday). Watch this Mon at 12/11c with “The Gruffalo” on @PBSKIDS & @PenguinRandom Facebook pages!#ReadTogetherBeTogether #PBSKIDSRead pic.twitter.com/WQyVkQJx6s
— PBS (@PBS) April 18, 2020
Obama read The Gruffalo on Monday and in the following weeks will read There’s a Dragon in Your Book, Miss Maple’s Seeds, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar, according to the press release.
“As a little kid, I loved to read aloud,” Obama said in a prepared statement. “And when I became a parent, I found such joy in sharing the magic of storytelling with my own children—and then later, as first lady, with kids everywhere.”
“At this time when so many families are under so much stress, I’m excited to give kids a chance to practice their reading and hear some wonderful stories — and to give parents and caretakers a much-needed break,” Obama said.
The Hill reported on the new program:
The companies said in an announcement that each of the four sessions will also be available for viewing “on demand on all of those platforms immediately thereafter.”
The effort by Obama follows similar story time reading efforts launched by celebrities in recent weeks, including country music legend Dolly Parton and former “Reading Rainbow” host Levar Burton.
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