Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Ask Not If You Should Read with a Child

In comparison to President Kennedy's inaugural challenge in 1961, Utah Governor Olene Walker's plea today sounds simple.

Kennedy urged, "Ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country." Walker's inaugural challenge: "I call on each of you to spend the most important 20 minutes of your day reading with a child.”

Our slain president challenged us to ask a question and presumably act of the answer we find. Walker's challenge leaves us with far less wiggle room. "Nothing would improve the education quality in our state more than having every adult read with a child for 20 minutes every day."

She left no exemptions and no exceptions. Adults should read with children daily. So should I read with my three college kids? She didn't say read to them, she said read with them. Perhaps I'm going to be able to handle this challenge after all. Gotta run -- a friend's asked me to do something important tonight and I don't want to let her down.

Literacy resources:

Related resources:

Sunday, November 02, 2003

First Snow

The big storm in Salt Lake on Friday brought an abrupt end to Indian summer. But we've needed the water and the storm brings yet another kind of beauty and a chance to reflect on the wonder that's all about us.

I'm grateful for this little planet we share. For its continents, oceans and seasons. For sunshine, darkness and light. For fall leaves and the much-needed storm which now covers them. The snow changes everything and nothing. Colors are muted at first and then almost completely masked. Sharp edges soften. Drivers who don't acknowledge the change are sometimes gently - and sometimes not so gently - reminded that the laws of physics still apply.