Friday, November 30, 2007

A vicious circle

It's a sad fact. According to a recently released study from the National Endowment for the Arts, reading is in a continuing decline in the US, most frighteningly among school kids. Reading skills, and the grades that go with those skills, are in decline. "The study points to a failure to produce a new generation that reads," says NEA chairman Dana Gioia. As a result, business leaders can look to a future of employees who may not be able to put together a decent sentence in their memos, or maybe even be able to recognize a decent sentence when they see one.

The culprit in this bleak scenario? It's unclear, but put together the rise of the internet as a pastime and the lack of attention given to books in the media, and there just doesn't seem to be much out there influencing kids in the direction of reading as a positive thing to do. They're missing out on a lot of fun, and they're missing out on a lot of brain expansion. Each of us, in our own way, should do what we can to reduce this decline. Give a kid in your family a book as a present. Read books yourself. Make books cool however you can. That's probably our only way out of this situation.


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