Thursday, February 29, 2024

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Our Youth Don’t Love to Read

By Sam Alfonsi, Diamond Beach

To the Editor:  

This pandemic has played havoc with our youth’s ability to read. When compared with youth of other so-called industrial countries, we are slipping dangerously below them. A democratic nation demands that its citizenry be able to read. Being a productive citizen requires that one can read well and not to be taken for a fool. 

As a reading specialist for decades, I have known parents who will spring for money to get batting lessons for a son or daughter, yet won’t seek out a reading tutor to improve reading skills.Video games were, and still are, the deathblow to outside reading, and perhaps to assigned reading at home. Try a little experiment for yourself. Simply ask a youngster if he or she is in the proud possession of a library card. Visit any of our fabulous libraries along the island for yourself. 

 What you will see is old timers like myself killing time browsing the racks for freebies to take home.It boils down to good parenting, I guess. A wise and caring parent would rush to a child’s school if a child of hers can’t read at grade level. Like cancer itself, early detection and intervention save lives. Doing likewise when it comes to the reading ability of a child may well rescue them from being total failures in life. 

– Sam AlfonsiDiamond Beach

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