I have fond memories of being a little girl watching the classic Reading Rainbow on PBS. A show filled with endless possibilities and wonder, any child could watch the show and magically be transported in to a fun and exciting storybook world. Following a new book's story each week, with LeVar Burton as your host, you'd take off on an extraordinary adventure. A bookworm's delight, this show, geared at children ages 4-8, inspired creative thinking and an immense love for reading. You could hear and see the book's story on tv, but then go to your own local library to pick up a copy for reading yourself. It was great because not only did you get ideas on what sorts of books you'd like to read yourself, but you also got the opportunity to hear other kid's reviews and opinions of the books as well. All around, it was a wonderful, wholesome show that parents and kids alike enjoyed watching.
That's why I'm so sad today over the announcement I only just this morning read on the NPR website. After a 26 run, Reading Rainbow is no more. It seems the cost is just too much to consider producing the show for even one more season. Reason's given suggest that funding and interest now lies in shows which help viewers learn to read, as opposed to Reading Rainbow which inspired the love of reading. I can't begin to see how that makes since in any way, as it's only natural to think if you're teaching kids HOW to read you should also give them reason to WANT to read.
Truth be told, to me it sounds like a bunch of bureaucratic garbage. However, unfortunately my opinion is just that- mine. I suppose in the face of this sad and regretful news we should look back on the history of Reading Rainbow and rejoice that it has come along as far as it has. For as the third longest running show in the history of PBS, Reading Rainbow has only been surpassed by Sesame Street and Mr Rogers' Neighborhood. A 26 year run is certainly nothing to be scoffed at, and I guess we will always have reruns!
Butterfly in the sky, I can go twice as high,Take a look, it's in a book — Reading Rainbow ...
(To see the original NPR story that spurred this post, go HERE.)