Friday, September 4, 2009

Gloomy rainbows

A little teaspoon of gloom, Reading Rainbow is officially going off the air (hat tip Read Street). To put it frankly, this is pretty depressing news even if the show's main audience is quite grown now.

Research has directed programming toward phonics and reading fundamentals as the front line of the literacy fight. Reading Rainbow occupied a more luxurious space — the show operated on the assumption that kids already had basic reading skills and instead focused on fostering a love of books.

It's disappointing that public television keeps aiming for younger and younger ages as opposed to funding appropriate shows for slightly older children as well, particularly a show that aims to instill in kids an appreciation for reading and books. The end of the show would be less bittersweet if only the reasons for its closing were slightly... better. I hope (and would like to think) funding will eventually return to a show like this.

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