I'm a liberal pagan living in West,Texas..yes that West,Texas

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

.......KIDS AND READING.......

If you're reading this you aren't an average young American..and if you are...shame on you, I'm x-rated..Go pick up a Harry Potter book and ged'oudda here.
Only 30 percent of 13-year-olds read almost every day.
The number of 17-year-olds who never read for pleasure increased from 9 percent in 1984 to 19 percent in 2004.
Almost half of Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 never read for pleasure.
The average person between ages 15 and 24 spends 2 to 2 1/2 hours a day watching TV and seven minutes reading.
There is a 99-page study called "To Read or Not to Read," and is a follow-up to a 2004 NEA survey, "Reading at Risk," that found an increasing number of adults were not reading even one book a year. The findings were based on government, academic and foundation data.
The report also finds that the more books there are in a young person's home, the higher their average scores in science, civics and history.But the report notes that average household spending on books,adjusted for inflation, dropped 14 percent from 1985 to 2005.
According to the report, reading ability has fallen as well.While scores have improved for 9-year-olds, they dropped sharply for 17-year-olds. Only about a third of high school seniors read at a proficient level, a 13 percent decline since 1992."And proficiency is not a high standard," NEA Chairman Dana Gioia said. "We're not asking them to be able to read Proust in the original.We're talking about reading the daily paper."
(and why the drop you ask?..ok..so I asked.)
The report suggests that multi-tasking is a factor. It found that more than half of middle and high school students use other media most or some of the time while reading,and that 20 percent of the time they spend reading they are also watching TV, playing video games, sending messages or other-wise using a computer.
fuckity fuck fuck fuck!...We're going to end up with a nation of fat, illiterate kids with thumbs the size of salami's.
I personally think, as if anyone gives a fuck..think that kids should not be allowed to play video games, play on the computer or watch TV until they have read at least 2 books a week..I don't understand how the parents can't afford to buy their kids books, but can buy them expensive x-boxes and the games to go with them..Some one needs to bip the parents upside the head...and I'm volunteering for the job..sigh*...really pisses me off...When my kids were little, one of the first things I did was take them to get library cards..which is what my parents did for me..I took my granddaughters to get their first library cards too..It all starts at home with the parents..and they are falling down on their job..They can use money, time and any and every excuse in the world for why they don't encourage their kids to read..but if they can haul their ass to the mall and take them to the movies, they can haul their ass to the library and have them check out a book...Libraries are free...Of course if we had a President that didn't go around saying "OUR CHILDRENS ARE LEARNING".. we might have a better chance of teaching them to read..


Deb said...

You're dead on with the parents. I grew up reading, as did my brother. Both my parents always had their noses in a book. My dh and I are constantly reading. My 9 yr old reads all the time. We encourage it! She read The Hobbit last year. (Not typical for a 3rd grader!) BUT... there are NO video games in this house, nor will there ever be... and there is ONE TV in the house - in the living room. No TVs in children's bedrooms. The 4 yr old is working hard on letters and can't wait to "crack the code" and start reading. Not a bedtime goes by when she doesn't get a story read to her. I was appalled when I read that study. I'm glad I'm not the only one incensed about it.

Anonymous said...

This was really depressing. While I may have had faults as a parent (probably not actually, hehe), my kids and I read together even before they knew words. Today they love reading. It took a little while with my son, but finally he discovered books he enjoyed like "Star Wars" and science fiction.

I think it's one of the great gifts parents can give to children.

the rube said...

do you think big industry wants to dumb us down?

nah, they love us and want to help us succeed.

BBC said...

What is also important is what they read, if they just would read. I think that every high school student should have to read "The Drifters" by James Michener. Also the "Fires of Spring".

Screw Harry Potter, those books just numb kids down. Adults also.

This country is so fucked.

Allan said...

Depressing...I recently read a collection of essays from the 1970's entitled :'The Future of Literacy'...the contributors generally agreed that the tech-driven rise in mass communications would lead to an overall decline in literacy and knowledge (real knowledge, not pop culture gossip)
They were correct, it seems.

Josh said...

I have to play the devil's advocate here and say that reading online material isn't exactly lightweight. Granted, you have to be able to sort out the good stuff from the junk (it's sort of like grocery shopping), but the Internet puts vast amounts of information in front of you. It's just up to the individual to pick up the initiative.

Still, the shortening text-speak that is en vogue these days (r u 2 going out 2nite?, etc.) will be the death of grammar and linguistics as we know it.

Sling said...

It's almost cliche to hear someone say,"I saw the movie,but it wasn't as good as the book"..
There are things that words can do,whith rythm and ryme,that can't be duplicated in any other medium.
Great post JS!
Have a great Thanksgiving doll!

Sling said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nit Wit said...

I have a more positive outlook on the kids and education, at least in my household. My kids and I have spent a huge amount of time together. My wife working days and me working at night meant that I had the boys, (18 and 17 on Dec. 6th) all day until they went to school, and always spent a lot of time with them growing up.
They saw me with books all the time. I didn't read to them a lot but they understood that when I picked up a book I was going on a great adventure. They both always have a book to read with them now. I actually have to fight them for books out of my library if I happen to want to read the same one as them.
I was going to say that I don't agree with BBC's opinion of the Harry Potter books. But I will say instead that he is plain wrong. Those books have done more to get kids reading than any teaching program or parent involvement since Scholastic started publishing them in the U.S. Besides, if you are ready to suspend disbelief and travel to that world or any other that is in any work of fiction your life can only become richer.
I do agree that the whole Federal education program is geared toward creating people just smart enough to do the jobs that will keep them under the thumb of the big corporations that have taken control of everything. The last thing they want to do is teach people to think for themselves.
Look at the Gump. He had the best education that money could buy and can't even form a simple sentence without an army of speechwriters.
In my home at least, video games have enhanced my kids and my own reading ability along with the internet. I or my boys don't hang out on sites that require video but places where you have to read and think about what you have read.
I said 7 and carrot on my last post and it freaked me out.

mckait said...

I agree with you 100% Jac.. wise wise words


well fuck...my comments on your comments didnt show..fuckity fuck fuck fuck....
well,...basically I'm proud of all of you that raised your kids with the love of books and interfaced it with some computer time also...
bbc?...your full of shit..jr rollings should be given a medal for introducing so many kids to reading..and many of them read harry potter and then moved on to keep reading more...so anything that encourages them to read...is terrific...
nitwit: wonder what my weird answers meant..?....I'm weird?...

texlahoma said...

Shelly reads 24-7 just about. More power to you folks that enjoy reading books. I was brought up surrounded by books but I hate to read. Oh well, I'm just a weirdo in the crowd.

BBC said...

Hon, just because jr rollings introduced reading to kids doesn't mean they where reading what they should have been reading.

Give them some Mark Twain adventures, the new crap has nothing over the old classics. :-)