Reading is not “Fun”damental


By: Nargis

I love to read. Fans of Mindstream Radio know that I did the weekly book reviews on the show hosted by my two friends; Adam and Paul. I believe strongly in promoting literacy and encourage people around me to acquire and appreciation for the art of the written language. As a proud book worm and an educator I am consistently disappointed when my students express a dislike for reading. This eagerness begins to flicker around the 5th and 7th grades so that by the time they reach high school the light of imagination has been extinguished.

The unfortunate thing is people within leadership and mentoring positions are not encouraging our children to use their brains and exercise their minds. The other day I was at a community center for the city of Atlanta. As I was packing up my things the counselors were settling the kids in with a snack and they were going to turn on the TV. The head counselor began to threaten the kids with reading books if they didn’t quiet down. She said, “Yall have been reading all day, I want you to do something fun today but I guess yall just want to read…” I could not believe my ears, literally my jaw dropped (yall know I’m dramatic) but it really did I could not believe that somebody would encourage that type of ideology that reading is equivalent to a punishment, therefore they believe that reading is bad at an early age and get discouraged from exercising themselves mentally.

I developed my passion for books at a very early age. I will confess my childhood nickname was ‘book’ because I climbed on the shelves and tore the pages from the bound covers. I was encouraged to read, and had stories read to me. Using my imagination is an active part of my childhood memories and I know that it helped develop my appreciation and interest in writing, journalism, storytelling, etc. I am so grateful to come from a family of educators, writers, and dreamers because I believe that thought should be free. No child should have a limitation of ways to see their dreams and believe anything is possible. Promoting otherwise in a sense is crippling that kids future.

It frightens me that there are adults who have lived life and see how difficult the world is working with our kids and feeding them negative habits that could be detrimental to the success of their adulthood. Our ancestors fought and died, suffered and were maimed for the ability to read and write. Now we suffer through the failure of our children in the school system when education and knowledge are only being sought through Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon. Don’t get me wrong I do believe there is a balance and that all TV is not bad, everyone deserves a guilty pleasure especially kids. But there should never be a conflict of opinion when it comes to value and worth between zoning out in front of a TV or reading a book.


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