As an avid reader, the following caught my eye:
According to a group called The Dictionary Project most children do not own a dictionary or have access to one in their homes.
It’s for these reasons that groups like The Rapid city Kiwanis club get together to help out public schools in the area.
What’s the price of a dictionary? If one purchases a regular collegiate type, it can be had for as little as $5. A fancier children’s version with pictures runs anywhere from $10 to $20 or more. So, for somewhere between the price of a Wendy’s value meal and the price of a recent release DVD, one could procure a suitable treasure chest of words.
Any household which is lacking a dictionary should be able to (with its own resources) lay hold of one. I would guess that none of these households lack a dictionary because it is a question of a dictionary or food–though I could indeed be wrong about that. I would guess, rather, that these households lack a dictionary because they do not value reading.
There is nothing wrong with what this organization is doing, as such. However, it would seem to be treating the symptom rather than the underlying issue–the growing problem of illiteracy. What drives this, you ask? Well, in general, children will value what their parents value, at least at the very young ages when reading habits are generally established.
If you are a parent, please read to your children. Even if you do not find reading particularly enjoyable, read to your children. When you are not reading to your children, read some things yourself–good old-fashioned dead tree books. Let your children see you reading–you may be surprised how much interest in reading they will develop. And yes, limiting multimedia exposure time is a key piece of encouraging youthful reading habits.