Friday, August 28, 2009

The Final Episode of Reading Rainbow Will Air Today

After 26 years of encouraging children -- including myself -- to read, the PBS show Reading Rainbow ill come to an end:

"Reading Rainbow taught kids why to read," Grant says. "You know, the love of reading — [the show] encouraged kids to pick up a book and to read."

Linda Simensky, vice president for children's programming at PBS, says that when Reading Rainbow was developed in the early 1980s, it was an era when the question was: "How do we get kids to read books?"

Since then, she explains, research has shown that teaching the mechanics of reading should be the network's priority.

"We've been able to identify the earliest steps that we need to take," Simensky says. "Now we know what we need to do first. Even just from five years ago, I think we all know so much more about how to use television to teach."

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.

Here's the opening sequence:

(YouTube Link)


TN Rambler said...

I have no problem with teaching the mechanics of reading, but I have to wonder what is wrong with teaching a love of reading? Reading Rainbow will be missed.

shepherdhealth said...

The show will be missed I am wondering more and more what shows to allow kids to watch if sesame street goes I am at a loss.

Chrystal K. said...

OMG I can't believe Reading Rainbow is over.

Divers and Sundry said...

We watched this show long after the kids were past the target age. I'd rather have seen Sesame Street go than this one, but I'm a bit weird.

Scooponsoup said...

Alongside Mr. Rogers & Sesame Street, this was probably the most educational, kid-friendly show- what a bummer to see it go.