I had a little debate yesterday with someone over how to get young kids in lower income areas to read more. Considering the fact that I was “once one of those young kids” I believe my experience to be beneficial. When growing up all I really wanted to do was play basketball. I would often wake up at 5 or 6 am just to head out to the courts. As with most of the kids around my age from my area we were not interested in reading books. However, there was something that caught my interest and basically helped me to teach myself how to read, and that was “comic books.” The man I talked to yesterday believed that comics were “not of great substance” for children to read, and to that I begged to differ. I produced a comic book that had a plethora of “big intellectual word content” and showed that “certain ones” would not only increase a kid’s ability to spell, but also grammar and usage of the English language. I said that you can try to “force” a child to read a book, but most kids that I know of rebel at the mere thought of that. Comic books are fun, they are informative and the pictures associated with them will often help a child to deduce the meaning of words on his or her own. The most important thing about this is that comic books will “increase a child’s DESIRE to read,” and that desire is critical. Any child is a product of his or her own environment. My parents invested in pool tables, ping pong tables, baseball equipment, basketballs, musical equipment, art supplies and even pogo sticks. My brother and I were able to master them all. When a child has no activity then that is when a child will usually generate his or her own activity (and that may or may not be a good thing). I used to read a lot of Marvel comic books. There were a lot of big words and great stories in them. Now with the new Marvel movies coming out the promotion should motivate kids to “want” to read the comic books associated with the stories they see on the big screens. Education is value, and if you truly want to increase the IQ’s of some poverty area kids then you need to make learning fun for them. I’m sure someone will disagree with me, but I truly believe that if the schools gave out comic books to kids they would actually witness their reading abilities increase significantly. I started reading comics in the second grade, and my reading skills became exceptional. A child needs a lot more than just 4 walls to pay attention to. If you want that child to excel in life then give him or her “something to do.” This may not work for everyone, but if it increases a child’s desire to read then that is the best anyone can hope for. I don’t think the school system has anything to lose by “trying it.” Maybe one day that will happen. In the meantime please fill your child’s life up with activity. A busy child is a happy one, and you will have less worries about what your child is doing. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to bring.
Blue Magic (“Sideshow and Spell”) with Brett Jolly