Saturday, September 04, 2004

Getting kids to read: Jersey Journal columnist William Kulesa suggests parents and educators turn to comic books as a way to get children to read:

"The comic book offers the perfect starting point for a new reader or developing reader. For the beginning reader, the comic book is valuable as a tool in keeping an easily distracted young mind focused on the page before them. For younger children, the comic books written for them - The Power-Puff Girls, Spongebob Squarepants, Pokemon and so on - provide interesting visual cues as well as easy-to-follow sentences, allowing them to build confidence in their reading abilities. Older children may benefit from titles that use established characters, but with less violence and non-controversial plots, such as Batman Adventures or X-Men Evolutions.

"As a child grows older, the pressure to read is increased as schools continue to assign books for them to report on, with the wonderful summer reading program standing out as the most hated. I love to read, but I didn't want to read the books I was assigned to read in middle school and high school. It wasn't because I was lazy or distracted. I just thought the assigned books were bad. Books such as Sing Down the Moon, The Slave Dancer and The Catcher In the Rye did little for me. I acknowledge them as great classics of literature, but I also acknowledge them as downright depressing."