Okay, I am in shock. I just got a newsletter from the local public school system which contained several little news items. Among the articles about the new Literacy Stations (huh? And here I thought school was all about literacy–silly me) and After-School Care, there was an artical entitled 24 Hour Reading Challenge is Successful!
That caught my attention, since I love to read. I was envisioning a read-a-thon where teams of kids read around the clock, but no. “Students were challenged to read for a total of 24 hours over the summer…Students could read independently, share read, or have someone read to them.”
So, ignoring the fact that obviously the school system hasn’t managed to get out a newsletter since school started (!) I had to adjust my expectations. Over the time that the kids were off school, say 90 days or so, they were challenged to read, um, a total of 24 hours? That averages out to a little over 15 minutes per day. And this was considered admirable enough that the students who were able to complete it were rewarded with a special picnic and swimming day.
I wish I could say that all the kids easily met the challenge, but according to the article, only 26% of that elemantary school made it. But the headline exclaimed it a success! Apparently it is now so uncommon for people to read that 15 minutes per day is an outstanding accomplishment. Very sad.
Considering the vast amount of printed material that is available in our country, isn’t this ironic, that our children no longer have much use for it?