So now a state legislator wants to slap our third-grade kids upside the head when they can’t read because their parents are irresponsible (TNT, 3-1).
Thirty-five percent of our kids fail to graduate. I say that the primary reason is poor or nonexistent reading skills. Color or gender has nothing to do with it. I have watched mothers with two or three toddlers in tow check out a stack of DVDs at the public library.
David Brooks touched on this lack of parental interest in his column (TNT, 2-19) and the results. If a study were done of those 35 percent, I bet that the majority of the homes have few, if any, books.
Kids who have been read to from babies on tend to learn to read much sooner. Those who have never been read to as babies and toddlers seem to struggle to learn to read. Many of these never do learn to read with some fluency.
There have been several editorials, opinion pieces and letters published lately calling for early reading programs, even pre-pre-school. These programs, plus volunteer mentor programs, seem to be the answer. The kids must be reached at as early an age as possible.
It’s too bad that the taxpayer must pay for the failure of some parents, but if that is what it takes then so be it.