Award winning actress, philanthropist and entrepreneur Jennifer Garner lends her voice to SAG-AFTRA Foundation's Storyline Online during this season of giving by shining a light on two social issues that are often invisible—food poverty and childhood poverty.

Award winning actress Jennifer Garner raises poverty awareness
Award winning actress Jennifer Garner raises poverty awareness

Garner reads author Lois Brandt’s Maddi’s Fridge, the story of two friends who share a secret about one of them, inviting readers to think about the circumstances of our friends, especially when they’re attempting to hide their struggles.

These days especially, children—some of whom are also viewers of Storyline Online—struggle with survival issues and often feel there is nowhere to turn for help. Garner, who has a long history of charitable activism, felt it would be an honor to share such an important story to young readers.

Illustrated by Vin Vogel and published by Flashlight Press, Maddi’s Fridge is the recipient of several prestigious awards, including the Human Rights in Children’s Literature Honor, and those accolades, along with the honor of having Garner on board to spread the word of compassion, fit the bill for SAG-AFTRA Foundation President Courtney B. Vance.

“This is a month of gratitude,” Vance says. “No matter how you choose to celebrate it, whether it’s a traditional feast or an observance of the First Peoples of this land with family and friends, we must always remember that there are many people who are struggling right now and need our help. The task is to keep our hearts and minds open and embrace what the spirit of gratitude and giving can do when applied. This book is an exceptional example of both, and we’re so grateful that Jennifer Garner lent her considerable talents to our children’s literacy program Storyline Online.”

As with all Storyline Online videos, Maddi’s Fridge is accompanied by a complementary supplemental activity guide that aligns with Common Core Standards that strengthen verbal, written and comprehension skills. Aimed at 1st-3rd grade students, these activities encourage children to engage in critical thinking activities and explore the themes of each book, including topics such as conflict resolution, cultural diversity, individualism, facing fears, and family.

An educational brand since 2001, Storyline Online has seen significant growth during the COVID-19 pandemic when remote learning has become a standardized norm within households. Boasting a 250% increase in views, and 750% surge in complementary activity guide downloads, the initiative has seen a sharp spike in interaction, shares, and likes, proving to be an essential online resource for families learning at home. While most schools have reopened, Storyline Online remains committed to providing the extra help and extended family time that many families with school-age children need, as well as those with children at home.

Garner joins the Storyline Online cast of readers including Oprah Winfrey, Rami Malek, Viola Davis, Allison Janney, Chris Pine, Kristen Bell, Justin Theroux, Michelle Yeoh, Marc Maron,Nancy Cartwright and more who have volunteered their time and talent to promote literacy and inspire a love of reading in children.

To watch Maddi’s Fridge and all of the Storyline Online videos, visit storylineonline.net.

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