I just read an article from a relative of Alice Pleasance Liddell who received a book for Christmas written for her by Lewis Carroll called then Alice’s Adventures Underground. What a great present! This was a much more innocent age and children seemed to have greater imagination. I wonder what
pictures came into Alice’s head the first time read about Alice and the White Rabbit. I worry sometimes about our children with all the technology that they have available to them. I know there will always be readers but certainly the percentage of readers of novels among young readers will decrease as more and more young people would rather just “watch the movie”. I hear students comment sometimes that they never read and that they see no need to read when they can get all the information they need from online or from videos. I think my students are “normal” and I would guess that at least half of them have not read a novel cover to cover ever. Some read parts of novels that are required for school but I doubt they ever read novels outside of the classroom.
I know that even those that get all their stimulation from games, videos, or social networking sites still do a fair share of reading. They have to read instructions, blogs, posts etc…, but I’m afraid they’re really missing out. I remember long hour spent in my room as a child reading great classics like Tom Sawyer, Treasure Island, and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. I was transported in my mind to all the places that I read about in my youth. I still can see mental pictures from some of the books I read. Do our children today get even close to the same experience when they watch the latest video or movie? I am not an expert by any means, maybe some of you out there are, but I fear the population maybe losing a great deal if our youth doesn’t read as much as the youth of the past. I know that the students that struggle in class are also the poorest readers.
At this time when schools are being cut left and right by budget constraints, I
wonder if this is maybe a time when schools are needed more than ever to teach our students not only how to read but to develop in our students a love of reading. Is this next generation going to be known for their mouth open, blank stares that they have while looking at LCD screens? I know a lot has been written about the amount of time people spend each days looking at video monitors, tv screens, and cell phones. We have all seen the blank stares associated with each. Can we do more to encourage our children to read more?