SAG Foundation’s BookPALS Celebrates 20 Years

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Dr. Seuss will have celebrity guests this year for Read Across America Day.

On March 1 at 12 p.m. (9 a.m. PST) Vanessa Marano (“Switched at Birth”) and Vincent Martella (“Phineas & Ferb”) will read via livestream Seuss’ “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” and “Green Eggs and Ham.”

Marano and Martella are participating in the National Education Association’s annual event as part of the Screen Actors Guild Foundation’s BookPALS program, which is designed to have SAG-AFTRA performers instill a love of reading in children through storytelling.

“Our BookPALS are proud to participate in the NEA's ‘Read Across America Day’ and will be bringing books to life for this annual celebration in classrooms across the country,” said JoBeth Williams, president of the Screen Actors Guild Foundation, in a statement. “We are thrilled to feature rising stars Vincent Martella and Vanessa Marano on the SAG Foundation’s livestream to read to kids all over the world.”

This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the BookPALS program. Founded in 1993 by Barbara Bain (“Mission Impossible”), the program has grown to comprise more than 2,200 SAG-AFTRA performers who read to students in public schools, hospitals and libraries every month.

This year, in addition to Marano and Martella’s live reading and the other 2,000 volunteer BookPALS, Fatima Ptacek, the voice of “Dora the Explorer” and actor in the Oscar Award-winning short film “Curfew,” will read to kindergarten students at P.S. 111 in New York City.