Once again, thanks to Twitter for alerting me to something awesome!
Inspiring Children's Literacy Through Audiobooks
It ’s not news to anyone that literacy rates among children have dropped dramatically over the past decade. I firmly believe we can use audiobooks to inspire children to seek out stories and inspire them to fall in love with the fantastical worlds that exist out there in books.
Let’s Inspire Children’s Literacy through Audiobooks
March 20th, 2008 · No Comments
Today, I had a chance to meet in person with with U.S. Congressman Brad Sherman (D. California) about a matter I feel very strongly about: Children’s Literacy.
Now, it’s not news to anyone that literacy rates among children have dropped dramatically over the past decade. Though many people like to blame schools or the home environment, my personal belief is that children of all ages aren’t reading because they are not inspired to. In fact, it took a boy wizard to prove this simple theory. After Harry Potter’s initial release, libraries all over were inundated by kids who were inspired to read more because they discovered the joy of books and the unbridled thrill of imagining these stories come to life in their own minds.
I have on many occasions postulated that the erosion of readership among adults has come not from laziness nor the proliferation of entertainment choices like video games, television or the internet, but from the fact that people are generally sick of cookie-cutter choices major media has given us in the name of cloning one success to hopefully breed another. Children are amazing beings capable of making this distinction, though they may not know why. Children everywhere, by nature, love to explore the depths of their own imaginations but those imaginations require inspiration to blossom. How many of us remember those moments from our own childhoods or have seen in our own children the wonderful moment inspiration strikes and the voracious desire to consume more and more of that which had inspired us. Books make up a vast universe full of adventure, fantasy and wonderful characters and literacy is the ticket to that world. We live in the era of the mp3 generation. The iPod and the computer are two of the most ubiquitous sources of entertainment consumption by today’s youth and those audiences are skewing younger than ever. I firmly believe we can use audiobooks to inspire children to seek out stories and inspire them to fall in love with the fantastical worlds that exist out there in books.
What I would like to do is plant this seed of a concept in the mind of U.S. Congressman Brad Sherman. All politicians respond to united voices. Please join me in sending this message to Congressman Sherman (Sherman@BradSherman.com) by e-mailing him a simple statement saying, more or less: “I agree with Mark Yoshimoto Nemcoff that children’s literacy can be inspired through audiobooks”. Feel free to change the message as suits you most. I only ask that you reference my name so Congressman Sherman can know better why you are writing based upon my meeting with him. And please, for your own sake, don’t try to be funny and send him the kind of messages that will ultimately get you into trouble. Those of you who know me, know that I never hesitate to speak up about a cause that I feel is important and I hope that you too, feel that children’s literacy is a matter you care enough about to send just one email. And those of you who are writers yourselves, please join me in this effort because inspiring today’s kids into becoming tomorrow’s readers means a future that’s brighter for everybody.
You can reach U.S. Congressman Brad Sherman at Sherman@BradSherman.com.
Something worth Digging and spreading the word about! On a personal note, I have seen the inspiration to read brought forth by audiobooks in my older daughter. She began listening to Harry Potter audiobooks, and from there she actually wanted to read the books! She had never had much interest in reading before listening. I suppose I could give the Potter books credit too, but she never had an interest in reading them before she listened.
Again, spread the word!