Want to get Read by Viola Davis, Wanda Sykes and Rashida Jones?

These three ladies have enough class and sass to be doling out their own library cards, amirite?

But, when I mean read to, my blinkers, I mean literally read to…with actual books.

Wanda Sykes, Viola Davis and Rashida Jones are the latest celebs to join StoryLine Online, a site chock full of actors (like James Earl Jones, Dule Hill and Betty White) reading–and of course performing–childrens’ books aloud, while the illustrations fill the screen.

There is no cost to see Rashida Jones act like a bee or fear a pop up ad will wreck the flow of Wanda Sykes’ nasally owl impersonation because the SAG-AFTRA Foundation covers the cost to stream more than 40 videos, according to Look to the Stars site.

StoryLine Online, whose aim is to boost literacy, gets over six million views a month from kids, teachers and parents.

The site just introduced a free app for iPhone and Android for access to the full book collection.

There’s nothing like ̶N̶e̶t̶f̶l̶i̶x̶ StoryLine & Chill with your babies, especially if it’s playing detective with Wanda Sykes in “The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake” by Robin Newman.

…Or venturing down South with Viola Davis to see how a family uses music to pull through a crisis in “Rent Party Jazz” by William Miller.

Rashida Jones tells the tale of two unlikely animals (the bear and bee) treating each other fairly in “Please Please the Bees” by Gerald Kelly

Best part? Library cards aren’t required.

Michelle Obama took to Broadway to promote “Let Girls Learn,” and it’s so empowering

Michelle Obama Helps Broadway Shine A Light On Girls' Global Education

(Photo by Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)

Our incredible First Lady Michelle Obama has been a powerful advocate for educating women and girls for all of her years in the White House, and we are SO behind that message. Michelle started the initiative called “Let Girls Learn,” which is an organization that tackles many of the issues that prevent adolescent girls around the world from getting an education. Yesterday, Michelle hosted an event on Broadway to raise awareness for this cause that is so close to her heart.

 

The event was held in the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre in New York City, with hilarious comedian Stephen Colbert as the emcee. Michelle spoke in front of a theater full of the spouses of global heads of state who are in town for the U.N. General Assembly, and implored them to make this an issue.Billboard reported some of Michelle’s impassioned speech.

“I want to be clear that as First Lady of the United States I have no budget of my own for programs, I have no authority to make or pass laws, and I cannot issue any kind of executive orders. When people hear the stories of girls who aren’t in school they want to help. And as spouses of world leaders, so many of us here in this room have platforms to tell these stories and bring people together to take action for these girls.”

Michelle called on her fellow influential women to use their power to ensure that girls are given the opportunity to get an education.

 

Performers came from Wicked, The Color Purple, Beautiful: The Carole King Musicaland Waitress. These performers included Cynthia Erivo, who recently won a Tony for her incredible performance in The Color Purple. Billboard also quoted her thoughts on the historic day.

“The thing about me that is most important is that I’m a young Broadway actress, but I’m also female. So I have a vested interested in other young women learning and being confident in themselves.”

The keynote speakers were three young women who spoke from their own experiences of overcoming obstacles to get an education.

Meet 17 year old, Halima of Malwai. At the age of 15, Halima was forced to leave her education behind and marry a man twice her age. Weeks into marriage, Halima told her husband that the Mother Group, a community group of women that supports girls and fight for their right to go to school, would come looking for her once they learned that she had been married off. And they did. They found Halima and helped her break free of her marriage and return to her an education. Now, Halima works with @USAID's ASPIRE program and serves as a role model in her class as she is still able to achieve top grades despite missing months of school. Yesterday, Halima courageously shared her story on the stage of New York's historic Jacobs B. Bernard Theater as part of the First Lady's "Broadway Shines A Light on Girls' Education" at the 71st United Nations General Assembly. #LetGirlsLearn

A post shared by Michelle Obama (archived) (@michelleobama44) on

 

Noor Abu Ghazaleh of Jordan, Summyka Qadir of Pakistan, and Halima Robert of Malawi spoke about the kinds of extreme obstacles in their path to an education such as child marriage, poverty and an indifference to women’s education. But despite all of these hardships, these young women were able to achieve their goals of learning and growth. The post above details the story of Halima of Malawi.

At the age of 15, Halima was forced to leave her education behind and marry a man twice her age. Weeks into marriage, Halima told her husband that the Mother Group, a community group of women that supports girls and fight for their right to go to school, would come looking for her once they learned that she had been married off. And they did. They found Halima and helped her break free of her marriage and return to her an education. Now, Halima works with @USAID’s ASPIRE program and serves as a role model in her class as she is still able to achieve top grades despite missing months of school.”

That is SUCH an inspiring story, and we are so glad to see such a powerful collection of women coming together to make sure all young girls like Halima have access to education. According to the First Lady, 62 million girls around the world aren’t in school, and we are very supportive of all of Michelle Obama’s efforts to change that.

 

To find out how you can help or contribute, check out the Let Girls Learn website, which details ways that we can get involved.

The post Michelle Obama took to Broadway to promote “Let Girls Learn,” and it’s so empowering appeared first on HelloGiggles.

Feel Good Friday | Pharrell Spreads ‘Happy’-ness in Book Form

happypharrell

Pharrell gives us another reason to smile (it’s the perfect day for it.) The power producer joined forces with a publishing house and literacy nonprofit–FirstBook–to help donate 50,000 books to young book worms from low-income homes.

Penguin Young Readers christened the partnership by unveiling new hastag #readHappy. Where kids can tweet why reading makes them “happy.”

“Every child on this planet deserves to experience the joy of reading,” Pharrell said in a statement.

He has a few of those cuties in his book trailer.

You can pick up a copy of “Happy!” on October 6th.

FEEL GOOD FRIDAY | Move Over Batgirl, Here’s Moxie!!

Who rules the reading world? GIRLS!! Natalie hoisting up those 16 Gs for her creativity.  Image Courtesy: diana_emuge

Who rules the reading world? GIRLS!! Natalie hoisting up those 16 Gs for her creativity.
Image Courtesy: diana_emuge

When 7-year-old Natalie McGriff (all Natalies are geniuses, just saying.) didn’t think she had good hair because it’s natural, her mom came up with a radical idea.

Let’s celebrate it and make those afro puffs a superpower. Cue “The Adventures of Moxie Girl,” comic book based on a pig-tailed version of Natalie. One thing they have in common: they both hated their hair. But that all changes when she uses a shampoo that gives her hair superpowers.

moxie“Moxie Girl” was created in December and sought crowdfunding site One Spark.

ABC News reports, the Jacksonville, Florida mom-and-daughter duo won a $16,000 prize in the “education” category at the crowdfunding festival, which will go towards publishing “Moxie Girl.”

They estimate publishing the comic book in June.

Angela Nixon–Nat’s mom–says the comic kills two birds with one stone: offers very much needed images of black girls that look (natural hair and all) and sound just like them (that can kick butt), and ignite a love of reading.

Angela Nixon told ABC News this about the project:

We want girls of color to know they’re awesome,that they have moxie and that they’re young queens who should be proud of who they are and who they represent.

Don’t know about y’all, but I’ll be scooping this up for my niece when I see it in bookstores.

Happy Reading!!

‘Scandal’s’ Kerry Washington Gives the Gift of Reading

kerrywashington

As Kerry “It’s handled” Washington is blowing out the candles on her birthday cake (Happy 37th Birthday, Ms. Pope) today, she’s wishing every little boy or girl has a brand new book in their lap.

To exercise the each one teach one philosophy the boogie down Bronx native is working with First Book, a charity that provides new books to disadvantaged youngsters, for a birthday book drive.

“My birthday wish is that more kids can share the magic of storytelling. Wanna help me?” writes Kerry on First Book’s site. “For the next two weeks, From now until Valentine’s Day, show your LOVE and make a difference in the lives of children who need you.”

To join Kerry Washington’s virtual book drive–a fundraising page that goes toward new books for impoverished familie–click here.

So far the org has provided over 120 million new books to schools and programs in need.

To see how you can get involved in First Book’s literacy efforts, click here.

FLOTUS Michelle Obama, Megan Good &amp More Celebs Participate in Read Across America Day

First Lady Michelle Obama and  Education Secretary Arne Duncan (R) Image Courtesy: ed.gov

First Lady Michelle Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan (R)
Image Courtesy: ed.gov

FLOTUS Michelle Obama kicked off Reading Across America day by…how else?…reading to the kiddies at the Library of Congress on Sunday. It was also Dr. Seuss’s birthday, so she appropriately read “The Cat in the Hat,” and spoke about the importance of reading to young ‘uns.

On Dr. Seuss’s birthday I think it’s fitting that we celebrate the significance of reading. As parents it’s important that we continue to highlight its benefits. Reading not only brings our families together but it prepares our children for a lifetime of learning.

Cat and Hat, Thing 1, Thing 2 raise your right hand and solemnly swear... Image Courtesy: huffpost.com

Cat and Hat, Thing 1, Thing 2 raise your right hand and solemnly swear…
Image Courtesy: huffpost.com

They even marked the event by having the kids take a Dr. Seuss-themed oath administered by Cat in the Hat, Thing 1 and Thing 2 saying, “I promise to read each day and each night. I know it’s the key to growing up right.”

Cue the awwww’s, and the urge to grab a book and head to the nearest classroom. That’s just what actress Meagan Good did. Donning stripped hats Meagan and her sister, Lamiya dashed over to Compton to join the newly inaugurated mayor, Aja Brown, to read Dr. Seuss classics. And they weren’t alone.

Meagan Good reading to the children. Image Credit: IG

Meagan Good reading to the children.
Image Credit: IG

“Everybody Hates Chris” star Imani Hakim was there for the children as well as her reading partner Juwan Godwin, model and actor.

Imani Hakim and Juwan...everyone looks good in that stripped hat.  Image Courtesy: IG

Imani Hakim and Juwan…everyone looks good in that stripped hat.
Image Courtesy: IG

Do you remember Flex Alexander? R&B singer Shaniece’s husband. The actor with the reach for the sky locks. Well, he’s come out of hiding and showed kids the importance of literacy. Wonder if he still has the locks…nah.

Flex Alexander engaging kiddies during story time. Image Courtesy: IG

Flex Alexander engaging kiddies during story time.
Image Courtesy: IG

And finally the never aging beauties “Teen Wolf’s” Bianca Lawson and “Girlfriends” Anne-Marie Johnson share reading duties in the video below. Check it out.