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.

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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.

Wom-Er, Girl Crush Wednesday | This 11-year-old Wants to Expand Your Bookshelf

marley1000booksforblackgirls

As the old saying goes, if you don’t see what you’re looking for in stores, create it. That’s just what eleven-year-old Marley Dias did.

The sixth grader was tired of reading about “white boys and dogs.” In other words, stories and characters that she couldn’t relate to. Sadly that invisibilty is more pervasive than you think.

So her mom, Janice Dias, asked what she was going to do with her frustration?

That’s when Marley launched #1000BlackGirlBooks, a book drive for black girls as main characters not sidekicks or background pieces, in November.

Partnering with her mom’s GrassROOTS Community Foundation, Marley has collected 700 books–nearly at her goal of 1,000 books for black girls.

 

With her visit to  Ellen today it’s safe to say not only will she meet her goal but surpass it. Watch what gifts Ellen Degeneres gives to help Marley’s book campaign here.

And if you’re wondering where all those books are heading? To Jamaica mon.

On February 11th Marley will visit St. Mary, Jamaica (where her mama hails from) to host a book festival. The New Jersey res will also donate the collected books to schools and libraries. In hopes of inspiring more black girls to read more after seeing images of themselves.

“I know there’s a lot of black girl books out there, I just haven’t read them,” Marley tells Huffpost.”So if we started this I would find them and other people would be able to read them, as well.”

Marley’s #1000BlackGirlBooks is just one do-gooder deed the pre-teen’s taken part in. According to Huffpost, last year she won a Disney grant to empower young girls to follow their passion. Then followed that up by feeding orphans in Ghana.

Did we also mention Marley started a nonprofit, BAM, with her friends? They frequently volunteer at local soup kitchens.

No wonder she’s pegged supergirl–step aside Melissa Benoist– with her superpower being writing. She’s gunning for a job as a magazine editor. Or as Toni Morrison.

Either way Marley knows the weight of the written word.

“[Representation] definitely matters because when you read a book and you learn something, you always want to have something you can connect with,” she told Huffpost.

Adding,”If you have something in common with the characters, you’ll always remember and learn a lesson from the book.”

To learn more about the literary activist and how you can help click here

 

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!!