Thursday, May 29, 2014

TBIF: Don't take my word for it

I am 100% over the moon for this Reading Rainbow kickstarter.

I cannot remember a time in my life that I did not love books and reading. I am forever grateful for my parents who encouraged books to be a part of our lives, by making it a part of our entire family.

Now that we are older, books are still a part of our family. They get purchased as gift for someone, as an excuse to read them ourselves, then passed around the family. There are books that I got as gifts that have never actually spent anytime on my shelf (which is fine, I feel completely comfortable taking books of any number of shelves and never returning them - it all works out in the end).

I cannot imagine not having this relationship with books. I can't imagine a life not full to the brim of stories I have read and the comfort that comes with a book in my hand.  While I did not need Reading Rainbow's peer pressure to try books for the first time, it gave me security in knowing that this love I had for books was a great thing.  And I watched it joyously, just as I watched Seaseme Street, 3, 2, 1 Contact, and Ghostwriter (PBS did a damn good job raising kids in the 80's and early 90's. Thanks guys). I know there are kids out there who discovered reading through the show and for that I think the world is a much better place.

I am tickled pink that the Reading Rainbow Kickstarter has already blown itself out of the water because there are so many people, like me, who recognize the value of reading as a joy rather than a test-able subject in school. People who are nostalgic. People who love LeVar Burton (he is so very, very lovable). People who love a good coffee mug (I am way too excited about this mug).

I also know there are people who more skeptical about this whole thing. People who do not trust the internet, or celebrities, or crowd-sourced anything. And I completely understand and respect that.

To those people, I say, give your money that maybe would have gone to this to Open Books. My favorite literacy program in Chicago. Open Books give kids the joy of reading with bonus joy of writing included at no extra cost. They make living life better for kids in Chicago. The programs are focused on reading and writing as a thing to treasure rather than one more thing to worry about failing.  And if you feel like you are being scammed if you don't get anything in return for your donation - go down to the Open Books Bookstore and buy yourself something nice. All the money from the store goes back into their amazing Chi-city programs.

I feel like there are so few things left in this world that we can just enjoy without worrying about how its going to kill us (food, the water in Lake Michigan, hugging people) that reading should be something that is pushed for its capacity to make the world a better place.

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She's pint-sized and amazing.