It is the end of an era as we say farewell to the venerable children’s show “Reading Rainbow.” Some say the show is ending because during the Bush administration funding was redirected from shows that emphasize the joy of reading toward shows that teach children more basic reading tools like phonics and spelling. What role, if any, does teaching children to truly love reading play in America’s schools and on television?
LeVar Burton, host and executive producer of Reading Rainbow. He is well-known for his roles of Kunta Kinte in the 1977 award-winning television miniseries Roots and for his portrayal of Geordi La Forge on Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Nancie Atwell, teaches reading and writing, and history at the Center for Teaching and Learning, she is the author of “The Reading Zone: How to Help Kids Become Skilled, Passionate, Habitual, Critical Readers”