Anyone remember Reading Rainbow on PBS?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2000
Anyone remember Reading Rainbow on PBS?
2
Mon, 12-03-2012 - 10:52am

Remember "Reading Rainbow," which ran on PBS from 1983 until 2006? Well, the show lives on via the Reading Rainbow iPad App, which offers up the series for free.

Check out this remix as "Reading Rainbow" host LeVar Burton talks (in autotune, natch) about the greatness of those old paperbound relics, books: "A book lets you zoom through time and space ... you bring a book to life in your imagination."
http://theclicker.today.com/_news/2012/12/03/15642449-reading-rainbow-gets-the-pbs-viral-video-treatment?lite

What do you think? Is this a nice way to introduce the younger generation to actual print books and spark their imagination?

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Registered: 09-08-2003
Mon, 12-03-2012 - 2:27pm

I have always believed any way you can think of to introduce children to books is a good way.  My first son started out only wanting to read non fiction.  We gleaned the library shelves for young reader books about nature, space, geology and even a few historical people, though even they were science related if I remember correctly.  As he got into middle school he only wanted to read comic books.  I made a deal with him.  He could read 5 items of whatever he wanted and then had to pick one classic, read it, and tell me about it.  I made sure there were many male oriented classics on the shelves at home.  He was introduced to Robert Lewis Stevenson, Mark Twain, Jules Verne and Tolstoy among others.  His niche was science fiction, which was fine but we added it to his 5 item count and later added Stephen King to that count, too.  As his younger brother (by 2 years) surpassed the number of books my oldest read, he offered up titles he thought Kacee would like.  Jon loved to read and his tastes ran more toward the classics though he was addicted to Stephen King at an early age.  That was the only author I had to put controls on with him.  I had to use the same system with their baby sister as she got into reading.  She loved Babysitter's Club and the series of scary stories written for middle aged kids (can't for the life of me remember the name of that series).  I started out weening her off those using Box Car Children and Nancy Drew.  I let her read a couple of her favorites, one or two of my choice and then she had to choose a classic.  She actually liked to have family reading times and a lot of her classic choices were shared that way.  The 3 children and I would spend at least an hour with a classic.  We would pass the book around and read a couple of pages out loud to each other.  The boys were 6 and 4 years older than their sister, so most times an hour was it, but the 3 of them would have to agree on the book (I was present at decision time to make sure it was a fair process).  If it was a move advanced selection, we helped Stevie with sounding out words that were hard for her and if it turned out to be more difficult she only had to read a paragraph or two, so she wouldn't get frustrated.  There were many a night where they asked me to continue reading to them long after our shared reading time was completed.  I miss those times together.  All three are young adults in their early 30's and late 20's.  They all have busy, busy lives.  Most of their reading now is for something they need to know for work or in my daughter's case to her children.  I remember I had a stretch where I didn't read much either, but as life slowed down there was that book on the shelf that had been just waiting to be read.  I picked it up, and I'm off again.  When I had that busy, busy life, I watched Reading Rainbow  so I would know what books were popular with the 1st graders I was working with.  I was able to help many of the kids to pick a book they would like.  They just had to tell me a couple of their favorite things.  When my own kids were little, it was one show we all sat down and enjoyed together.  I wish Reading Rainbow was still on TV and I wish someone would come up with a show that would give children a little too old for Reading Rainbow previews of books that are out there for them.  If children aren't exposed to books, they won't read.  If they don't have someone guiding them to books with content that interests them, they will lose interest in all of them.  They have to love books enough to chance reading on the sly even when it's not considered "cool" anymore.  That's one of the reasons my book shelves were alphabetized by author.  Their books were mixed among my books and they could find the book they were reading easily.  I also made sure I had plenty of shorter book marks so they didn't show that the books were being read at that moment.  They could play "cool" when their friends were around, but be "geeky" in their spare alone time and no one was the wiser....except Mom.

Bev

Avatar for cmbren
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Registered: 12-22-2000
Tue, 12-04-2012 - 1:04pm

How awesome; you really put forth a lot of effort to find books your children would be interested in and did a lot to nurture their reading enviroment. I love the idea of getting them to read classics and spending time reading together. Cool