“Why don’t you go read a book or play outside or something?”
Growing up in the 50s and 60s you never heard a parent say this to a child.
That would be like saying, “Why don’t you go inhale and exhale for a while?”
Without giving in to sentimentality about the good old days, there just weren’t the electronic activity alternatives there are today. It wasn’t even unusual to have no TV in the home: many people had radio and newspapers, magazines and books for information and entertainment.
Whether you enjoy reading or not is based on more than the era of your birth.
However, having books and book readers in the home has a huge impact on whether a child grows up reading for pleasure.
People who love to read usually have a parent or grandparent to thank — for reading the entire Black Stallion series on long road trips, the Anne of Green Gables books on rainy afternoons or actually reading Where the Wild Things Are 11,000, complete with all the voices.
It’s great to have a national literacy week in Canada.
It’s also ironic that we seem to have no real comprehensive literacy plan, and that literacy programs are usually held together by partial government grants and supported solely by volunteers.
So, thank you to the initiatives that promote and celebrate literacy and raise awareness about its importance.
Thank you to the teachers who work to give children the best literacy skills possible and thank you, most of all, to the parents who help generate a love of reading for generations to come.
Even if it means reading Green Eggs and Ham a million more times.
– LeRae Haynes