No more butterflies in the sky…

Reading Rainbow is ending its 26-year run on public television.

What could be greater than a show whose purpose it was to promote reading and make it fun for kids?  I loved watching it when I was growing up, and I looked for those books I’d seen LeVar Burton introduce.  And it meant something to me to see kids my age talking about the books they loved.  I wanted to be one of those kids.  It’s a tragedy that the people in charge don’t see the value in that.

But, to quote LeVar Burton, “you don’t have to take my word for it.”  Just ask the many librarians and teachers who are struggling right now with how they can inspire children to read.

The article blames No Child Left Behind for the show’s cancellation, so I guess I’ll add this to the many reasons why I dislike that particular piece of legislation.  In the meantime, I’ll miss Reading Rainbow.  Even though I haven’t actually watched it in years, I truly appreciated that it was there, inspiring a new generation of readers.


2 responses to “No more butterflies in the sky…”

  1. Thanks for this Matt, when I heard this piece over the weekend I thought about doing a post. Did you read my mind?

    I was interested to hear the research based reasoning to focus more educational programming on the mechanics of reading such as phonics. No one understands better than I, not only as a librarian, but as a former, and sometime present, struggling reader that mechanics are vital. But without a juicy reward dangling enticingly at the end of the effort, reading moves from the realm of magic to the mundane. I’m so lucky I get to be the Lavar Burton of the school. I don’t have to worry about skills, and mechanics I just get to wave the delicious aroma of tantalizing words, stories and information under the noses of my hungry students.

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