Tuesday, February 27, 2007


I am reading this morning about the terrible shape 12th graders are in with respect to reading abilities. Apparently, test scores reveal that a substantial percentage of graduating seniors do not read well enough to comprehend pretty basic concepts. Now here's where I go off the radar. I have thought for some time about the wasting of one of the largest resources in our country; retired people. There are millions of retired people sitting around with little or nothing to do, all of whom have substantial skills and a fondness for young people. One of these substantial skills, for example, is the ability to read well inasmuch as we were taught reading at a time when reading was considered to be the cement for all learning. What I propose is this; For children at all levels who are having difficulty, set up a classroom based on a family structure. The teacher is the Mom (or Dad) and retired seniors would be the grandparents. In a classroom of twenty children, there could be four or five grandparents, each one assigned to four or five kids where the emphasis of each pairing would be assisting the kids to read; the grandparent would read to each small group and each kid could read to the grandparent and maybe the rest of the kids in the small group. From experience with my kids and grandkids, the biggest key to successful reading is the amount of one-on-one time between the parent and child spent in a quality reading environment such as this. It would be a cinch to recruit enough willing seniors to participate in this type of acitivty. It would cost nothing. It wouldn't interfere with teacher union concerns. Why not try it?

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