When I Read: Reading on TV -RIP Reading Rainbow
Just as I finally put up a "When I Read" post and started preparing some more books/stories/poems to share, I find out that one of my three favorite shows about reading (Reading Rainbow, Wishbone, and yes Learn to Read with Famous Amos because I was a cable-less child) is ending. Wishbone, which ended in 2001, was a classic and shared a variety of stories. But as great as the little Jack Terrier was, there was never a comparison to Reading Rainbow. The show, which is older than I, introduced young folk to the love of reading and featured real little kids with their favorite books. For those with a love of books, it opened you up to exploring different types of stories and also exposed young readers to a variety of cultures and historical moments through contemporary children's literature. Wishbone was great for portraying the "Great Books" tome of literature (and ensuring that I would not have to read to sound smart when I reached high school). Reading Rainbow took you beyond the "great books" culture to various communities. There would also be the real life segments and guests that illuminated lessons from the book and applied it to real life.
The line of reasoning for cutting the show, that honestly I didn't know still came on, was because it taught kids to love reading instead of how to read. Apparently educational shows have to teach now, because of Bush's educational policies. Whatevs.
And while I'm sad to say I can't remember one book in particular, I remember my love for the show. I'm also sure it's the only reason I attempted to watch Roots when I was little. Kunta Kente? Nah, its LeVar Burton.( Recently I read he was dead broke. Really...is this helping him at all).
NPR Source: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112312561
Check it out for yourself.