September 14, 2020
LOS ANGELES (September 14, 2020) – Actor and comedian Ray Romano joins the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Storyline Online® cast of storytellers, reading Henry Holton Takes the Ice, a new read-aloud video for the Emmy®-nominated children’s literacy program and digital library.
Written by Sandra Bradley, illustrated by Sara Palacios, and published by Dial Books for Young Readers, Henry Holton Takes the Ice twirls into the Storyline Online® bookverse by turning hockey on its head. Growing up in a “hockey mad” clan, Henry realizes he prefers figure skates to hockey skates, and dancing on the ice to boarding and body checking. However, he must overcome the expectations and embarrassment of his sports-obsessed family in order to follow his own path.
“Henry Holton Takes the Ice is a beautiful story and message for all kids because it’s about having the courage to be who you are and embrace your own joy. To thine own self be true – that’s an important message for all of us,” says Courtney B. Vance, President of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation, “And nobody voices characters like Ray. He brings this story to life with great heart and humor. Children and parents alike are going to love this book.”
Romano chose Henry Holton Takes the Ice because he thinks everybody has a little bit of Henry in them, and that reading, and books like this, can teach us ways to be happy people. Upon conclusion of his reading, he shares with his young audience, “Follow your heart. It doesn’t matter what people think you should do, or want you to do. You should do what makes you happy.”
A trusted educational brand since 2002, Storyline Online has seen significant growth during the global coronavirus pandemic when remote learning has become a standardized norm within households. Boasting a 300% increase in views, and 1200% surge in complementary activity guide downloads, Storyline Online has seen a sharp spike in interaction, shares, and likes, proving to be an essential online resource for families learning at home.
As with all Storyline Online videos, Henry Holton Takes the Ice is accompanied by a complementary supplemental activity guide that aligns with Common Core Standards to strengthen verbal, written and comprehension skills. Aimed at 1st – 2nd grade students, these activities encourage children to engage in critical thinking activities and explore the themes of the book individuality, hockey, ice dancing, diversity and inclusion, and challenging gender stereotypes.
Romano joins the Storyline Online® cast of readers including Oprah Winfrey, Rami Malek, Angela Bassett, Chris Pine, Viola Davis, Kristen Bell, Michelle Yeoh, Jaime Camil and more who have volunteered their time and talent to promote literacy and inspire a love of reading in children.
To watch Henry Holton Takes the Ice and all of the Storyline Online® videos, visit storylineonline.net. Keep up with new videos in 2020 by subscribing to Storyline Online® on YouTube and following Storyline Online on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Photos and assets for Storyline Online’s new read-aloud featuring Ray Romano available here.
ABOUT STORYLINE ONLINE
An Emmy®-nominated program of the non-profit SAG-AFTRA Foundation, Storyline Online® streams 60 videos at no cost to children, parents, and educators worldwide. The site receives over 20 million views every month and is endorsed by the American Federation of Teachers, and named one of the best websites of 2019 by the American Association of School Librarians. In addition to the website, Storyline Online offers a free app for iPhone and Chrome devices. Storyline Online, like all SAG-AFTRA Foundation programs, relies solely on support from gifts, grants and sponsorships to produce new read alouds. For more information, visit storylineonline.net.
ABOUT THE SAG-AFTRA FOUNDATION
The SAG-AFTRA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides vital assistance and free educational programming to the professionals of SAG-AFTRA while serving the public at large through its award-winning children’s literacy program Storyline Online®. The Foundation relies solely on support from gifts, grants and sponsorships to maintain its free programs. For more information, visit sagaftra.foundation.