It all began with Amy Adams and Jennifer Garner. The two actresses teamed up to create “Save the Stories,” a new initiative that would support a new fund for a combined effort between Save The Children and Share Our Strength’s “No Kid Hungry” campaign. As they shared in their initial post, “These funds will help us make sure that families know how to find meals when schools are closed, support mobile meal trucks, food banks and other community feeding programs, provide educational toys, books and worksheets, and support out-of-school-time programs to help kids make up for lost time in the classroom.”
To incentivize donations and to bring more awareness to these efforts, they put reading at the center of “Save With Stories.” While closures of schools and local libraries risk leaving young kids without access to shelves full of books they’d otherwise be enjoying were it not for the Coronavirus pandemic, Adams and Garner took it upon themselves to create their own online story hour, reading children’s books for all to enjoy. And they’ve recruited a number of A-listers to help out including Camila Cabello, Demi Lovato, Noah Centineo (reading Dragons Love Tacos!) and even Captain America himself, Chris Evans.
What’s been most exciting to see is the way bilingual and Spanish-language books are well represented in the “Save With Stories” Instagram page where all of these readings are being compiled. Describing the book she chose to read, for example, Eva Longoria was giddy at showing off the many copies she had of the Lil’ Libros series. The picture book collection offers bite-sized bilingual biographies of famous Latinx icons including Celia Cruz and Frida Kahlo. Wanting to honor a fellow Corpus Christi artist, she read out The Life of – La Vida De Selena, written by Patty Rodriguez and Ariana Stein and illustrated by Citlali Reyes, in both English and Spanish. Similarly, eager to speak to kids whose first language is Spanish — or those who are intent on practicing their Spanish language skills — Zoe Saldaña chose ¿Cómo dan las buenas noches los dinosaurious?, written by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Mark Teague.
You can take a look at Longoria’s bilingual storytelling in action and Saldaña’s Spanish-reading skills below in full.
You can learn more and donate here.