Olivia Wilde Grateful for 'Extra Family Time' amid COVID-19 Pandemic: 'So Special and Important'
Like many other people across the country, Olivia Wilde has had to adjust to the new normal amid the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Despite the difficulties that come with that, the actress, 36, tells PEOPLE she's grateful for the "extra family time" it's given her with her fiancé, Jason Sudeikis, and their two kids — daughter Daisy Josephine, 3, and son Otis Alexander, 6.
"Being able to put the kids to bed every night and read to them every night is so special and important," she says, adding that she has also had the chance to do "lots of cooking again which I haven't done in a long time."
"Overall, all the extra family time has been the best part," Wilde tells PEOPLE.
Much of that family time is also spent encouraging her children to be the best versions of themselves.
"For both of my kids, equally, I've tried to be a source of support, to not reinforce the existing societal pressure to conform," the Booksmart director says. "But it's impossible to eliminate that altogether. What I can do is provide a safe space for them where none of those external pressures are present."
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Wilde is now hoping she can help other families across the country also facilitate some meaningful family time through a "Socially Conscious Story Hour," aimed at teaching young children the importance of activism.
The Tron: Legacy star will be reading two of her favorite children’s books, both of which shed light on the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion, in a new online experience hosted by Airbnb.
"Part of what's happening for so many kids not in school is that they're not reading as much, and that is an essential part of childhood development; when you're a kid, books are your portal to other lifestyles and other worlds and I think that it's heartbreaking to think of the fact that kids aren't having a chance to be exposed to as many books because they're not in school," Wilde tells PEOPLE.
"It's hard to expect parents while they're trying to keep working from home to serve as teachers as well — to constantly be exposing kids to new books," she added. "This is such a great initiative from Airbnb because it is a chance to supplement some of the loss of reading time due to schools being closed."
The "story hour" will take place on Sunday, Oct. 4, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET. It will go live for booking on Airbnb's platform on Sept. 29 for $100 per household.
Airbnb tells PEOPLE that 100 percent of proceeds will go to the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco — a community-based organization that offers programs and support services to help at-risk youth (ages 6-18) "build skills and confidence for a successful future."
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