April 26, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

YouTube Kids Kicks Off Global Initiative with HarperCollins, Universal

Several major book publishers, including HarperCollins, Penguin Random House, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, are collaborating with YouTube Kids on a global initiative called #ReadAlong month. The program, in effect throughout June, aims to make an impact on the next generation of readers by helping them hone their reading skills, as well as encouraging a lifelong love of reading.  

For example, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has published a playlist of fairy-tale videos that feature screen text and voice-over so that kids can listen to a narrator while reading along. HarperCollins has created a “Kid Critic” series, which features book reviews for kids by kids. Beyond the book publishing world, the initiative has also garnered content from Universal, by way of the Despicable Me Minions, and from NFL player Martellus Bennett in the form of a daddy-daughter storytime. #ReadAlong month reaches beyond the United States to Australia, Canada, Ghana, India, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Malaysia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, the United Kingdom, and Zimbabwe.

The YouTube Kids app facilitates kids finding videos on topics they want to explore (with parental controls), and is free on Google Play and the App store. The app will also host exclusive series, including “Word Play” by Pinkfong and “Learning Street with Bob the Train.”

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