Saturday, July 02, 2011

Reading Rainbow Flashmob

Levar Burton is organizing a Reading Rainbow Flashmob, in an attempt to raise awareness of our illiterate children.

Maybe I shouldn't say that our children are illiterate, certainly they're not. Our kids today are smarter and more capable of multiple, complex tasks than generations previously. Combined with websites, texting, chat, and school, kids today probably read more words per day than any other demographic.

The problem is that kids aren't reading books, and as this study shows, reading stories expands one's sense of self. It makes a person more than they were before! By incorporating different narratives and ideas, we are able to reprogram ourselves. We can make ourselves better.

With an expanded sense of self, nationality and group identity becomes less important. Just imagine if White Supremacists read more books. Maybe they'd stop thinking in ridiculous in-group/out-group terms like the pack of chimps that they are.

But instead of encouraging and expressing reasons to read, we're trying to convince kids to simply know how to read. In our moronic quest to be "better" than Eastern schools, or to cater to the head-aching stupidity that is No Child Left Behind, we're neglecting to explain WHY to our children.

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