Yahoo, part of Verizon Media, and The GEANCO Foundation are launching “STOR14S,” a new global podcast featuring children’s short stories narrated by a renowned cast of leading actors and influencers. The podcast aims to take families on an adventure that transports them out of their homes to exciting, new places.
The 14-part series will premiere on June 18, 2020 with new episodes airing every Monday and Thursday. Global audiences can listen in on all podcast platforms and visit the official series pages on Yahoo Life and Yahoo Style UK.
“STOR14S” will feature GEANCO ambassadors Rachel Brosnahan of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” Benedict Cumberbatch of “Doctor Strange,” Jeff Daniels of “The Newsroom,” Chiwetel Ejiofor of “12 Years A Slave,” Thandie Newton of “Westworld” and David Oyelowo of “Selma,” among others. They will narrate short stories and help raise money for the foundation’s coronavirus relief and emergency aid.
The stories were selected through a Yahoo writing competition for the public that was held throughout the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The winning entries will take listeners on journeys through secret tunnels, mysterious bookshops and fictional African empires, providing light relief and entertainment during a very challenging time for families.
“Focusing on our mental health has never been more urgent and we hope ‘STOR14S’ will inspire families during this very difficult time,” Verizon Media CEO Guru Gowrappan said. “We are committed to continue to use our platform to drive change, bring stories that should be told to life and amplify awareness for voices and organizations like GEANCO and their efforts that are making a true difference in people’s lives.”
GEANCO is donating gloves, face masks, soap, sanitizer and disinfectant to hospitals and maternity centers in Nigeria and training maternity nurses and traditional birth attendants to prevent the spread of the virus in maternity clinics. The foundation is also donating tablets pre-loaded with hundreds of books to children quarantined in their villages.
“I am really happy to be lending my voice to this creative effort to support GEANCO’s critically important coronavirus initiatives in Nigeria through the power of storytelling,” Oyelowo said. “I’m also delighted that my friends from the entertainment industry have joined me in bringing attention to a continent that is especially vulnerable to the effects of this pandemic.”
All talent fees for the series were donated to GEANCO with Verizon Media donating commercial inventory for direct display ads to the foundation to raise awareness for the vital work it is doing across Nigeria along with providing listeners with links to donate to their prevention efforts. GEANCO CEO Afam Onyema said, “We are honored to partner with Yahoo and our celebrity supporters on such a fun and compelling podcast series.”
“’STOR14S’ will empower us to save more lives and educate more vulnerable children in Nigeria,” Onyema continued. Here is the full list of narrators and stories:
|“Jack’s Dream”||June 18, 2020||Benedict Cumberbatch|
|“The Emperor’s Daughter”||June 22, 2020||David Oyelowo|
|“Mr. Oviarty’s Mysterious Bookshop”||June 25, 2020||Jeff Daniels|
|“The Diary of Primrose Goldie Gold”||June 29, 2020||Megalyn Echikunwoke|
|“The Sunshine Cake”||July 6, 2020||Aldis Hodge|
|“Aargh! There’s a Monster in my School!”||July 2, 2020||Russell Brand|
|“Matty Hides in Midgeton”||July 9, 2020||Chiwetel Ejiofor|
|“The Dog that would be a Prince”||July 13, 2020||Rachel Brosnahan|
|“Flying Colours”||July 16, 2020||Edi Gathegi|
|“Polly Tumpkin’s Pumpkin”||July 20, 2020||Kobna Holdbrook-Smith|
|“Magic Squirrels”||July 23, 2020||Thandie Newton|
|“Being Mean”||July 27, 2020||Sam Adegoke|
|“The Runaways”||July 30, 2020||Zoe Saldana|
|“Dragons Like Shiny Things”||August 3, 2020||Lonnie Chavis|
Distributed by Acast, the podcast will be available globally on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and all other podcasters. The story writing competition for “STOR14S” derives from a wider commitment from Verizon Media’s focus on mental health and wellness.
In May 2020, Verizon Media announced a $10 million donation in advertising inventory to support mental and public health response efforts to address COVID-19. The inventory is being used to raise awareness and mobilize resources, deepening Verizon Media’s longstanding commitment to supporting the health of the global community at large.
Verizon Media will also provide campaign support including creative services and management. Additionally, it launched a two part series “Yahoo’s Reset Your Mindset,” a virtual event discussing mental health and wellness which brought together newsmakers, athletes, celebrities, medical experts and industry thought leaders including Serena Williams, Shailene Woodley, Hilaria Baldwinm, Emily Baldoni and Kevin Love, Deepak Chopra, among others.