I've just heard that the kids' show Reading Rainbow has been canceled. I couldn't believe my ears. How did we lose an iconic program that inspired the joy of reading in two generations of children?
According to the story at NPR.org, nobody would fund it. What? NOBODY would fund Reading Rainbow? No parent group, no charitable foundation, no publishing houses? I find that impossible to believe.
Apparently, as part of the Bush administration's No Child Left Behind program, the emphasis is now to be on the mechanics of reading; teaching phonics is the primary goal. That's important, sure. But what good are tools without a vision of what you can do with them?
Not every kid has somebody reading to them at home. Not every kid gets to browse at the library. Without shows like Reading Rainbow, those kids are definitely going to be left behind.