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August 16th, 2010

For the Love of God, People, READ TO YOUR KIDS!

Reading stats over at Reach Out & Read and am saddened (but not shocked) to learn that Louisiana ranks last (as in #50) in % of children read to every day by their parents and (no doubt as a small result of that, among other factors, of course - mainly our shitty & dismal excuse for "education" in this state) we are ranked #49 in "% Students at or above Proficient in reading, Grade 4" and #50 in "% Children age 6-17 who have repeated at least one grade".

Damn.  That is sobering and depressing, eh?

In other words, Louisianian parents, please read to your goddamn kids! Please?

Reading and books were so important in my home.  My Mom always read to us, always had us excited about books and stories, took us to the library, etc.  She made the world of books magical - she loved reading so much (inherited from my grandfather) that it just came natural to her to immerse us in the wonderful, imaginative world of stories.

The result?  Three smart kids that - as adults - have a passion for books and one that became a writer (that would be me).

It isn't uncommon for us to give gift certificates to Amazon as birthday/Xmas gifts; we all read, all the time, and we love books.  If we read a really good one, we tell each other to check it out, loan books to one another, etc.  It's awesome, really.  I can't imagine a life without books - without words and stories and all of the neat worlds I've experienced and characters I've met through reading.  The love of books and reading is one of the most precious gifts our mother gave to us and I am forever thankful for it.

Please, parents, take some time away from your busy schedules to read to your kids - it's more important than you know and you will be opening up so many wonderful, creative worlds for them by doing so.  Read to your kids.  Both of you will benefit from it and you just can't beat that precious time spent together.

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