Saturday, September 13, 2008

Quick Thought


My boys watch a kids' show on PBS called "Super Why," which combines the themes of Superheroes and the importance of reading. The SuperReaders (the leader is named Wyatt, another is some type of fairy who helps with spelling, I can't remember the other names) enter into familiar stories, such as Pinocchio. They work together to change words and help solve whatever the presenting problem is. It's actually pretty clever and cute - much more so than the "Doodlebops," who for some reason kind of creep me out.

This morning S. and G. were watching "Super Why" and I was reading Date Lab in the Washington Post Magazine ( I confess that I rarely miss Date Lab, I find it utterly fascinating). I was halfway listening to the show when I heard Wyatt say "When we have the power to read we have the power to change the story."

OK, I know it's a kids' show. But I thought that line was really provocative. It sums up for me why I think reading is so important to the spiritual and intellectual life. When we enter into another world, when we vicariously experience what someone different from us endures, we are changed. Such change often compels us to engage in the wider world and "change the story." It's an idea that has real possibility. When we mentor children in reading, we are giving them the power to change the story of their lives.

I am feeling some possible further exploration of this thought coming on - maybe even some more extensive writing about it myself at some point. Stay tuned.

Remember, when we have the power to read, we have the power to change the story.

Reverent Reader
P.S. The Adventures of Momotaro the Peach Boy is the book that the SuperReaders were exploring in the episode the kids were watching this morning. I was not familiar with the story. May have to investigate, as G. is now obsessed with this particular episode. Thank goodness for TiVo.


At 9/13/08, 9:42 PM , Blogger cledster said...

I'm so very glad to find that someone else loves to read Date Lab! For it to be such a very literate someone is even more delightful...And thanks for consistently thoughtful reflections.

At 9/15/08, 3:54 PM , Anonymous nancita said...

"Now you know, and knowing is half the battle." A quote my children still remember from their childhood watching - though really from commercials (GI Joe, for the uninitiated) Not a bad quote, particularly considering the source.


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