How are young people going to get better reading skills if they do not read? Some school districts are closing libraries at public schools due to budgetary constraints (in Oakland, CA for example). Children need to be encouraged to read and need the opportunity to read. For many inner city school children, the school library is one of the few opportunities to read and have a wide choice of books to read. As well, parents ought to encourage their children to read in their spare time. A reduction in time spent on watching television and playing video games would allow more time for physical exercise and also for reading. Both are good free time activities for children in their formative years. Set the good example when your children are at pre-school age by sitting with them and reading short stories or fairy tales to them.
Are there any Great Books reading programs in local high schools these days? Perhaps, not many. (What qualifies as a great book these days is open to debate, but it does appear the criteria have changed since the 1960s and 1970s. Classics of Western philosophy, Christian thought, and European and American literature are not likely in favor among today’s educators.) For the betterment of society, it is desirable that the young become more literate and more widely read. Of course, this might run counter to what passes for education these days in too many public school districts and in American higher education. If the purpose, true purpose of education is to develop the critical and independent thinking skills of the pupils, then by all means encourage the young to read widely from a variety of viewpoints and to reflect upon that which they read. Sadly, our lament and complaint about contemporary education in the US is that it has been transformed over the past several decades into being indoctrination in the currently predominant paradigm in academia which is, sorry to say, biased and Leftist. (Activist educators are much like activist jurists that exceed the boundaries of their proper role.)
Since I was a young child in elementary school, I have loved to read. I used to especially enjoy reading during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day while school was in recess for the holidays. During those chilly winter days and long evenings, it was fun to curl up with a good book or two and read on any of a number of subjects. Going to a large public library in our community back then was a real treat as there were plenty of books on so many different topics.
Reading on a wide variety of subjects can broaden a person’s mental perspective and personal knowledge base. With practiced reading skills, individuals can educate themselves to a good degree (level) through their own efforts and research independent of formal classroom instruction.
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