Thursday, January 04, 2007

HEY YOU GUYS! Thanks to All You Champions of Literacy

I just had a wonderful experience. I had planned to watch the television program "CSI" tonight. Before it came on, however, I was flipping through the channels and noticed a documentary about the old children's television program "THE ELECTRIC COMPANY." I put down the remote and sat mesmerized for an hour. I wanted to call all of my friends to tell them "you've got to watch this," but I couldn't tear myself away from the screen.

I remembered so many of the skits and, of course, who could forget Morgan Freeman? But I didn't realize that Rita Moreno and Bill Cosby had been regulars on the show and that Joan Rivers, Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder had done voice-overs for some of the cartoons.

Watching the documentary made me smile. I was so glad that this group of writers, producers, educators, actors, and musicians had invested so much energy and creativity into helping children realize that reading is exciting. From watching the documentary, I gather that their goal was to reach children older than the typical "Sesame Street" viewer, some of whom might be considered "reluctant readers," and to use music and comedy to entertain them. Once they had captured their audience's attention, they shared important lessons about phonics and other reading fundamentals.

Although this blog is dedicated to adult readers, I wanted to say thanks to those of you who encourage young readers. I cannot thank everyone from the Children's Television Workshop personally, but I can thank all of the librarians who work so hard to make reading exciting for children and their caregivers. I also can thank a very special aunt who happily read Miss Twiggley's Tree night after night after night.


Doris Dixon, Raleigh Branch Library

I LOVED the Electric Company! I hate that I miss the show!
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