Michelle Obama to host online children’s book reading series amid COVID-19 pandemic

The four-part book series will stream on PBS Kids and Penguin Random House social platforms

The Obama administration may have ended in 2017, but Michelle Obama continues to serve her country at a high level to this day.

The former First Lady plans to provide much-needed education assistance amid the coronavirus pandemic with the launch of a new online children’s book reading series called “Mondays with Michelle Obama,” according to CNN.

The weekly reading series will begin streaming live on Monday, April 20, and run four episodes. Obama partnered with children’s programmer PBS Kids and book publisher Penguin Random House on the virtual reading program, which will be carried on the two brands’ respective Facebook pages. PBS Kids will also carry the Monday readings on its YouTube channel.

The series will be a part of PBS Kids’ “Read-Along” and Penguin Random House’s “Read Together, Be Together” literacy initiatives.

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One motivating factor for the reading series is to help the countless number of parents and children who are locked inside due to school closures, business shutdowns and stay-at-home orders across the country to combat coronavirus. Obama, whose daughters with husband and former President Barack Obama are now in college, expects to give kids something to look forward to and a “much-needed break to the parents.”

“As a little kid, I loved to read aloud. 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,” she said in a statement.

Obama also made an appearance during the “Global Citizen Together at Home” television music special on Saturday. Obama, along with fellow former first lady Laura Bush, addressed the audience with some inspiring words of hope and patience during this pandemic, according to CNN.

“The spirit and courage of the American people is most evident in times of crisis,” she said, “and during this period of physical separation, we’ve never been closer.”

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Here’s the schedule for “Mondays with Michelle Obama”:

  • April 20: “The Gruffalo” by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler
  • April 27: “There’s a Dragon in Your Book” by Tom Fletcher, illustrated by Greg Abbott
  • May 4: “Miss Maple’s Seeds” by Eliza Wheeler
  • May 11: “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle