In January I kicked off my reading challenge. I pledged to read 52 books by the end of the year, or one book per week. Life happens and stuff gets in the way, so the point is that if you can sneak two books in one week because you may have an emergency that keeps you from reading one week, then that's simply good planning. However, the goal is to keep reading, consistently and constantly.
Because Literacy should be a basic right for all of us. We shouldn't be ruled by emails, computer games, cable/satellite, or even cleaning the toilet. One of the things that sets us as a superior species is our ability to reason, to explore, to never tire of the adventure. Books open that gateway, always pushing each reader to learn, to know more than they did at the beginning of the book.
As adults, it's a simple choice and making the time.
However, for millions of underprivileged, at-risk children it's not that simple.
In an earlier post, I spoke of Reading is Fundamental, a terrific organization designed to open young minds to infinite possibilities through books.
Reading the RWA e-notes I found this entry . . . and yes this is an exact quote, so I will give all proper credit
May 1, 2008
Volume 8, Issue 9
"Reading Is Fundamental Program in Danger of Elimination
The 2009 proposed U.S. budget calls for the elimination of funding for Reading Is Fundamental's (RIF) Inexpensive Book Distribution program. The program distributes free books to 4.6 million children and families and runs reading encouragement programs in 20,000 locations in the U.S. RIF President and CEO Carol H. Rasco says, "Unless Congress reinstates $26 million in funding for this program, RIF will not be able to distribute 16 million books annually to the nation's youngest and most at-risk children ... Since its founding in 1966, RIF's programs have played an important role in improving literacy in this country." Visit RIF's Web site, to see how you can take action.
To read the actual press release: Reading Is Fundamental press release "
Do I think this is a crucial issue?
You betcha. If you're not reading with your kids, start. If your kids spend loads of times playing video games/computer games/or watching TV, turn off the electronics and lead by example by making a 'reading night.'
Having spent two decades (yep, I'm really that old) raising children, I can attest first-hand that the difference in reading children and non-reading children is the difference between a mole hill and Mount Everest.
Reading is forever and it should be every day.
If you are outraged that Congress believes reading is not fundamental, go to the above listed websites and find out how your voice can make a difference.
Am I off my soapbox? Not by a long shot. This is one battle we can't afford to lose for our children.
Come on by the back porch anytime . . . and feel free to bring you favorite book.