Thursday, January 6, 2011

How you gonna rap when you can't read?!

I love to read. I guess that's a blessing in disguise. I think it was a bit genetic because my mother loved a good book! I can recall the summers I went to spend with her in Ohio and her very special "office". The books.....ALL the books. They grew with me from Dr. Seuss to Ramona the Pest to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. As if her book collection wasn't enough to indulge my spirit my favorite uncle in Ohio lived right across the street from the public library. SCORE!!! My love for reading didn't die once I grew up. I still love to read. I read EVERYTHING but my favorite thing to do is to read children's books to my nieces and nephews. I think I may get more out of it than they do. Every child should learn to read. (I know some folks out there are thinking......"Uh, doesn't every child know how to read?!") I used to think that too until I began working with emotionally and behaviorally disturbed children. One of my favorite boys was an 11 year old street wise little boy. He could tell me everything about how to steal a car, but could not read the word "C-A-T" I was baffled. By no means do I fault this young man. I fault his parents, our schools, our society. So many of the young men I work with don't appreciate a good book, but you better believe they know the lyrics to ALL the songs on the radio. Nobody glamourizes reading.....Well, besides Oprah... but what teenage boy looks up to Oprah?! They don't wanna read. These young men want to be rappers, ball players, street hustlers. You don't need to know how to read to do all those things if you're good enough. If you're star quality folks will give you a "pass". But guess what, very few make it to the top and most that do don't stay there. Then when the money's gone and these young men can't figure out why they're broke (in my mind) I'd say to them, "How you gonna rap when you can't read?!"

This leads to me to the angel dust: My four year old nephew said to me the other day "You bought me that letter game at my daddy's house didn't you?" I said, "Yeah" He then said, "I HATE letters" I replied, "You wanna learn how to read don't you?" He said "Yeah" I said "Well, then you need to learn to like letters" (let me also add part of his upset was the fact I enforced his bedtime and he wanted to stay up with the big kids) Anywho, the point is this... read to the kids in your life. They may not understand the benefits at the time, but once they grow up they'll appreciate your effort :)

1 comment:

  1. There doesn't seem to be a push for education among certain groups of our society and you're right people don't glamorize reading anymore. We need to teach future parents that supporting their child's education is the key to their success.

    Good Post, keep up the blogging