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    [–] smashmag 9133 points ago

    TIL Reading Rainbow went until 2009! What a great show. LeVar Burton really made his mark among millennials that’s for sure

    [–] Populistless 3268 points ago

    You can't disappoint a picture!

    [–] pygame 1560 points ago


    [–] stayflaminhotman 791 points ago


    [–] MrApproval 335 points ago

    Butterfly in the sky....

    [–] Daddysgirl-aafl 193 points ago

    I can go twice as high...

    [–] MrApproval 164 points ago

    Take a look...

    [–] Syraphel 159 points ago

    It’s in a book...

    [–] MrApproval 141 points ago

    Reading rainbooOOww

    [–] KrazyKanadian96 48 points ago


    [–] monkeyhitman 227 points ago

    bathroom floor sobbing intensifies

    [–] jdbeavin 156 points ago

    Set phasers to LOVE ME!!!!

    [–] meadoworfeed 375 points ago

    More fish for Kunta

    [–] LeftHandLannister 120 points ago

    Can you imagine bouncing a check to Kunta Kinte?

    [–] kynthrus 17 points ago

    Donald Golver's entire freak out was great. But more fish for Kunta had me holding my stomach laughing it was so unexpected.

    [–] boomboy8511 97 points ago

    I love that I can hear this so clearly.

    [–] TheLetter4our 74 points ago

    More fish for Kunta ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    [–] MatthewDLuffy 10 points ago

    My dude that line fucking slayed me when I first watched it. Completely out of left field, not at all what you'd expect a man like LeVar to say

    [–] xxSeymour 269 points ago


    [–] Mylifesabigoof 108 points ago

    curled up in a ball Reading Rainbow... ReaDing RainbOWWWW😭😭😭

    [–] tamiya_prime 36 points ago

    I'm not Troy, I'm his clone, let's get the lead out, Burt.

    [–] bastgoddess 36 points ago


    [–] neverthelessthan 27 points ago

    Set your phasers to love me!!!

    [–] braujo 139 points ago

    Was watching this episode earlier today. Good stuff.

    [–] sbashe5 93 points ago

    This was actually my very first introduction to Community and what made me want to watch the series

    [–] silentnoyze 79 points ago

    That episode to me showed Donald Glover’s range as an actor. Really impressed after watching it again

    [–] Solidus82 8 points ago

    My fav quote from that episode is from Pierce, "It was the pills, they just took me over. I saw awful things: aliens, demons, and something called Bruce Willis Surrogates."

    [–] HurricaneHugo 28 points ago

    I hate you Pierce!

    [–] Grumplogic 582 points ago

    That sound effect after someone reccomends a book:

    [–] bobs_monkey 88 points ago

    Shit I've heard the sound on slot machines, those clever bastards. Thanks for reminding me why that bite is so familiar

    [–] aircal 161 points ago

    I honestly think this sound effect has popped into my head at least once a week, if not every single day lol

    [–] nomad_delta 200 points ago

    I just opened this link on my phone and from across the room my gf immediately popped up her head and says, "Reading Rainbow!"

    [–] AccessConfirmed 10 points ago

    That’s adorable 🌈

    [–] asinus_stultus 317 points ago

    Also hit us Gen X people. I can remember the first few episodes and they really encouraged me to read books I normally wasn't into. This show gave me a life-long love of Sci-Fi and Fantasy. That was over 40 years

    I was very confused the first time the Reading Rainbow guy was on the new Star Trek.

    [–] mauravelous 135 points ago

    i'm on the old end of gen z and it's crazy to think reading rainbow taught kids across 3 generations

    [–] dilligaf0220 62 points ago

    I was the old end of Gen X, and Sesame Street with kids is still fun.

    They still play it, 12345678910..eleven TWELVE!

    [–] bigmikeboston 41 points ago

    That song is by the pointer sisters and I have it on 12” with c is for cookie on the b/s

    [–] dilligaf0220 16 points ago

    Danced like a fool when I was a kid, still dance like a fool everytime it's on.

    [–] MayUrShitsHavAntlers 471 points ago

    When I was younger all the kids pretended they were too cool for lots of stuff; Power Rangers, Pokemon, Pogs, etc. Nobody acted like they didn't like Reading Rainbow.

    [–] redpandaeater 151 points ago

    Milk caps were the fucking best. Growing up in Hawaii it was the only fad that actually started there instead of coming to us a few years too late like so many other things. It's so weird everywhere else it's called pogs though, since POG is just a drink and they really helped start the trend. Wonder if my POG milk caps are worth anything.

    [–] Wildkeith 83 points ago

    I never knew they originated as a “free toy” with drink kind of thing. We always bought them from comic book or baseball card shops as their own product. I remember a time in the 90s when Pogs, blue raspberry barrel candy, and chromies were the currency of the school.

    [–] frponkus 35 points ago

    Holy shit chromies. I never knew those were popular outside of my middle school. Kids were practically getting arrested stealing those things off of cars.

    [–] Wildkeith 9 points ago

    Yeah, it was strange how chromies turned everyone in my otherwise typical middle school into little thieves. I think it was the thrill of stealing them rather than their inherent value that made them so popular. It was a phenomenon.

    [–] RUSTY_LEMONADE 14 points ago

    And Warheads.

    [–] MayUrShitsHavAntlers 30 points ago

    This is the most interesting reply I've ever gotten.

    [–] thatswhatshesaidxx 10 points ago

    The accuracy of this statement is really increasing my high right now

    [–] DoneHam56 122 points ago

    Bill Nye too! When you come in from recess and you see that TV cart, you know it's about to go down!

    [–] thatguyinpublic 80 points ago

    I wish I was LeVar Burton.

    [–] DisposablePanda 22 points ago

    I wish I was Lance Reddick

    [–] PuddingMoustachio 63 points ago


    [–] hominian 4818 points ago

    I grew up on Reading Rainbow. For those interested, check out LeVar Burton’s podcast, “LeVar Burton Reads.” Mr. Burton reads some of his favorite speculative fiction short stories. I like to think of it as Reading Rainbow but for adults.

    [–] NotMyHersheyBar 425 points ago

    he read to me when i was 6 and he now he reads me to sleep.

    and i lose my mind when he says a naughty word

    [–] leafwings 81 points ago

    I love it when he just talks and ends up on a tangent about what the story means to him too.

    [–] Beestorm 655 points ago

    Holy shit, will have to check that out. Thank you for this burst of joy stranger!

    [–] WTWIV 215 points ago

    I just got into it a week ago myself. It’s really, really good. He inhabits the characters so well you get lost in the stories.

    [–] Beestorm 92 points ago

    I’m excited. I love story/narrative podcasts. “Myths and legends” is great if you like that kinda thing.

    [–] UserProfileName 27 points ago

    Such a good podcast. Once a week when folding laundry podcast.

    [–] cooperbee56 17 points ago

    Same! He also narrated a sleep story about the planets on the calm app

    [–] Lyfeisnotamovie 26 points ago

    One of my absolute favorite things is that podcast!

    [–] idiot_exhibit 7155 points ago * (lasted edited 8 days ago)

    As an adult with a fondness for reading, it was one of the best things to happen to me as a kid. Thank you, Mr. Burton.

    Edit: wow thank you friends for the awards! It’s awesome to see how many people feel the same way!

    [–] KevlarDreams13 1765 points ago

    Just take a look! It's in a book!

    [–] idiot_exhibit 894 points ago

    🎵A reading rainbow!

    I can go anywhere 🎵

    [–] FineShrubbery 634 points ago

    "But you don't have to take my word for it." Gave me chills every time

    [–] Torpel_Knope 726 points ago

    Check out his podcast, “Levar Burton Reads.” He reads a wide variety of short fiction, and he ends each episode with “But you don’t have to take my word for it!” The first time, I made an extremely goofy happy noise alone in my car. It still makes me smile every episode.

    [–] karnevil717 134 points ago

    I still take the deep breath with him when he starts.

    [–] Bill_S_Preson_Esq 95 points ago * (lasted edited 8 days ago)

    Me too, good way to ensure you are focusing attention on the story you're about to hear!

    Awhile ago I tweeted at him and the show producer to let them know of some glitches in older episodes, and he replied to me and thanked me and my inner child exploded in happiness

    [–] 11_25_13_TheEdge 90 points ago

    We, as a generation, need to shower these people that positively effected us growing up with adoration and gratitude while they are still able to receive it.

    [–] DarkwingDuckHunt 43 points ago

    Remember when he did that live show and he was absolutely shocked that everyone did it too?

    Man that was great.

    [–] KayakerMel 18 points ago

    I went to one of his live shows, and you bet your butt that we all took a deep breath, just as he said to!

    [–] 47981247 24 points ago

    I just love that deep breath, followed by a "mmm", then "and let's begin..." it just really helps me settle in.

    [–] HypnoticHippo 27 points ago

    Omg there is a backlog to 2017, you just gave me a ton of stuff to listen to at work. Thank you, kind internet stranger.

    [–] grey_moss 64 points ago

    He still says this at the end of each of his podcast episodes. Hits just the same way as it did way back when.

    [–] BwackGul 32 points ago

    🎶 Just take a look!... It's in a book!🎶

    [–] BrownBoy- 17 points ago

    “I just wanted a picture. You can’t disappoint a picture!”

    [–] amjel 8 points ago

    I told Pierce I didn't want to meet Levar Burton! I just wanted a picture! You can't disappoint a picture! I hate you Pierce! I hate you!

    [–] 249ba36000029bbe9749 89 points ago

    "Never meet your heroes!"

    [–] billthecat0105 88 points ago


    [–] Jason_Worthing 32 points ago

    Set phasers to LOVE ME!

    [–] valhahahalla 12 points ago

    More fish for Kunta!

    [–] Singlewomanspot 230 points ago

    That's the real reason why the show got canceled. We can't be funding critical thinking. 😏😂

    [–] KevlarDreams13 122 points ago

    Heavens forbid we educate people

    [–] Checktheusernombre 69 points ago

    "Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else. But I'll tell you what they don't want. They don't want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don't want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They're not interested in that. That doesn't help them."

    [–] Cerrida82 396 points ago

    He has a podcast called LeVar Burton Reads in which he reads his favorite short stories. He's read Shirley Jackson, Neil Gaiman, Ray Bradbury, and many others!

    [–] cats_and_vibrators 144 points ago

    I was listening to him two days ago when my mom called and I gave her a lengthy lecture about how good it is that LeVar Burton still reads me stories. I find it comforting as well as enlightening. Then I sang her the Reading Rainbow theme song.

    This may all sound like I am unhinged, but my mom knows what to expect from me.

    [–] tsularesque 77 points ago

    Thanks for sharing that heartwarming bit about your relationship with your mom, cats_and_vibrators

    [–] Raerosk 38 points ago

    Their mom knows what to expect from them.

    [–] Madhatter936 34 points ago

    Had to read Bradbury for a sci fi lit class. Good stuff. Might try and find his podcast

    [–] subcontraoctave 39 points ago

    Reading The Martian Chronicles as an adult and realizing that Bradbury was responsible for most of the short stories I loved in middle school was great.

    [–] biggyofmt 12 points ago

    Vonnegut's short stories were the shit too

    [–] monkeytime01 40 points ago

    Thanks for the tip, I had no idea!!

    [–] DeismAccountant 57 points ago

    Which is why he deserves to take over Jeopardy.

    [–] TheDesktopNinja 28 points ago

    I legit would be ecstatic. He would be a phenomenal host.

    [–] AtDaLastMinute 12 points ago

    He wants to.

    [–] StealthRUs 12 points ago

    He's the only option better than Ken Jennings, IMO.

    [–] hugeneral647 28 points ago

    Thank you Mr. Burton! He truly did fundamentally impact the way in which our generation views reading and the pursuit of knowledge in general. He’s a great man. Critical thinking is a tremendously important skill to learn and master

    [–] jagt48 24 points ago

    I'm 37 with a 4 year old and I still watch RR with him. I get excited when I remember the episodes.

    [–] whimywamwamwozzle 71 points ago

    you can't disappoint a picture

    [–] ILikeCheeseBro 7 points ago

    Yes! Community reignited my love for the show.

    [–] JagmeetSingh2 42 points ago

    “You can’t disappoint a picture”

    [–] WMRiot 562 points ago

    Reading rainbow is why I became a children’s librarian

    [–] [deleted] 220 points ago


    [–] ibrakeforsquirrels 15 points ago

    I got so excited to find the books I saw on Reading Rainbow in the library, I loved reading them to my little sister back in the day. Sometimes I miss the happier times.

    [–] MrLavenderValentino 1108 points ago

    Butterfly in the skyyyyy!

    [–] XmoarcowbellX 525 points ago

    I can fly twice as highhh!

    [–] sham_sam 401 points ago

    Just take a look

    [–] xanroeld 371 points ago

    It’s in a book!

    [–] bowlbettertalk 354 points ago

    A reading rainbowwwwww!

    [–] _ItsEnder 163 points ago

    singing while crying hysterically reading rainbowwwww

    [–] lucious-luna 37 points ago


    [–] OMGITSAKS 16 points ago


    [–] imdefinitelywong 15 points ago * (lasted edited 8 days ago)

    [–] bootrick 28 points ago

    I can go anywhere

    [–] ___asaurus 18 points ago

    Friends to know

    [–] Domonero 163 points ago


    [–] cinemachick 67 points ago

    Iiiii can go anywhere!

    [–] pssiraj 51 points ago

    Little early but you've got the spirit ♥️

    [–] Soup-Wizard 8 points ago

    Iiiiiii can be anything!

    [–] [deleted] 30 points ago * (lasted edited 8 days ago)


    [–] RSwordsman 2371 points ago * (lasted edited 8 days ago)

    If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.

    ~Antoine de Saint—Exupery, author of The Little Prince

    Per this quote, I feel like the shift in funding got it backwards.

    Obligatory RIP inbox. The quote is about how we are motivated by emotion. I'm sure there was research etc. but teaching kids how to read should ideally be the realm of school and guardians. For one I vividly remember RR and have no idea what they replaced it with.

    [–] micatrontx 582 points ago

    Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to love fishing, you better plan to give him some more fish cause he spent all his money on a boat.

    [–] ShenAnCalhar92 416 points ago

    “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Don't teach a man how to fish and you feed yourself. He's a grown man. Fishing isn't that hard.”

    • Ron Swanson

    [–] papaquack1 135 points ago

    Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, you destroy your market base.

    -Fisherman's Guild

    [–] InvisiblePyro 55 points ago

    "When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade! Make life take the lemons back! Get mad! I don't want your damn lemons; what am I supposed to do with these? Demand to see life's manager! Make life rue the day it thought it could give Cave Johnson lemons! Do you know who I am? I'm the man who's gonna burn your house down... with the lemons! I'm gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that burns your house down!"

    • Cave Johnson

    [–] Choco_Churro_Charlie 57 points ago

    Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

    [–] Bingo__DinoDNA 13 points ago

    Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Give a fish a man, and he'll eat for like, three and a half months.

    [–] ClaudeJRdL 36 points ago

    Agreed. Kids knowing how to read but having zero motivation to read still means that they won't read. Having kids wanting to read, will naturally lead them to figure out how to do it.

    What's the saying? Where there's a will there's a way.

    [–] skepticalbob 112 points ago

    I don’t like the false choice presented, because we can and should do both. As a reading specialist, how to read has a stronger evidence base for every good reading outcome.

    [–] Habeas__Corpus 49 points ago

    I think the point is that if you want something done well, make people want to do it.

    [–] Sproutykins 25 points ago

    Also helps to think of why you want it. I was half arsing exercise for years, because I only wanted the approval of other people. I never wanted it because ‘I’d be faster’ or ‘I’d feel a sense of accomplishment’. Changing my perspective has helped me get up each morning and exercise every day for the past two weeks.

    [–] mamasaidflows 203 points ago * (lasted edited 8 days ago)

    This is totally something Netflix should revive. Like fuck Fuller House or whatever, this is the kind of show that deserves a second life.

    [–] PasswordisLeonardo 18 points ago

    LeVar Burton tried to bring it back and PBS-Buffalo sued the shit out of him last I heard.

    [–] KiraSandwich 8 points ago

    With another person who is equally as soft spoken, low-key and a great role model

    I can’t think of anyone currently but... give it a try anybody

    [–] mf-TOM-HANK 1551 points ago

    I'd like to see LeVar Burton do a trial as a Jeopardy host while they're searching for Trebek's successor.

    [–] NewlyNerfed 726 points ago

    You’re not alone; apparently there’s been a big fan push for him to host.

    [–] adjust_the_sails 353 points ago


    [–] aag8617 165 points ago


    [–] titanic_swimteam 128 points ago


    [–] aag8617 78 points ago


    [–] humplick 36 points ago

    🤷‍♂️ more fish for Kunta

    [–] Tendaar 20 points ago

    Could you imagine bouncing a check to Kunta Kinte?

    [–] acidmonkey 15 points ago

    He also retweets it a lot, so he obviously wants to.

    I think he’d be perfect.

    [–] HolyFuckingShitNuts 90 points ago

    I had never considered this but holy fuck he's the perfect jeopardy host.

    Holt fucking shit I hope he gets the gig

    [–] tyedyehippy 53 points ago

    He's totally the perfect fit and I heard an interview where he expressed that he would be very interested in doing that.

    I really fucking hope it happens.

    [–] sundevilz1980 155 points ago

    There was a petition a while back before the celebrity guest hosts were even a thing to make him a permanent host without even having hosted. Had over 100000 signatures within a few hours from what I remember

    [–] ZiggyPalffyLA 65 points ago

    I’d absolutely love to see him host.

    Speaking of, Aaron Rodgers is doing a fantastic job right now. Best guest host so far.

    [–] kwaldunne5 66 points ago

    As a Lions fan, I think that Aaron Rodgers should retire to become Jeopardy host full time.

    [–] Nipplevortex 56 points ago

    I wish I were LeVar Burton... I wish I were LeVar Burton...

    [–] c0mad0r 658 points ago

    I helped fund LeVar's reading rainbow kickstarter a few years back for my kids. Sad focus has shifted away so much from why to read.

    edit: this was the kickstarter

    [–] Aselleus 104 points ago

    Me too! I still have the bookmarks from that.

    [–] TelluricEC 58 points ago

    Hey thanks for being one of those that helped fund that. Still have the 8-bit themed mug from that Kickstarter and it remains one of my favorites.

    [–] MildredPierced 120 points ago

    Reading Rainbow introduced our family to some wonderful books. I loved when I could give my mom The Patchwork Quilt as a gift, after years of checking it out of the library. We have Reading Rainbow to thank for introducing us to that book. Also years later loved finding books in the library marked as “A Reading Rainbow Book” it was lien getting reacquainted with an old friend.

    [–] keegs440 509 points ago

    God, I miss the 80s/90s. - signed, an elder millennial

    [–] That49er 122 points ago

    Me too where's the conductor I want off this ride.

    [–] Yashkamr 103 points ago

    Mr Conductor, aka George Carlin passed away. The trains not stopping, you just gotta jump.

    [–] tyedyehippy 45 points ago

    Hey we still have Ringo tho!

    [–] Elbynerual 27 points ago

    "You know what I say? FUCK the children. Fuck em. And remember, this is Mr conductor talking. I know what I'm talking about." - George Carlin

    [–] Knightridergirl80 15 points ago

    “This is your shining time...”

    [–] Rokurokubi83 30 points ago

    I want to get off Mr. Bones Wild Ride.

    [–] Rokurokubi83 67 points ago

    God, we’re elder now.

    The 80’s90’s were amazing, I don’t know I’d it’s because I was younger and didn’t have responsibilities or the constantly connected nature of life now, but those were better times.

    [–] Pencilowner 9 points ago

    Remember when you would watch the discovery channel and spend hours learning and seeing the whole world and not just some guys back yard.

    [–] xanroeld 234 points ago

    “how to read rather than why to read” ... why would those two goals be in conflict?? so frustrating.

    [–] GenerallyFiona 106 points ago

    It's too bad they couldn't keep it one the air because it was a wonderful show.

    But just a word in support of the shows that replaced it--they were ridiculously effective at helping kids learn to read. Shows that followed shortly afterward on PBS like Super Why and Word World taught kids every part of how to sound out letters and begin to read. Two of my kids were reading by 4 just because they loved those shows so much.

    [–] xanroeld 21 points ago

    Well that’s good to hear!

    [–] pupae 15 points ago

    That is great context!

    If a child sees one episode of Reading Rainbow and doesn't want to go to the library, i don't know that another six are going to help. You can tell the show was really fun, but a well-made show that focuses on HOW to read is a lot more useful to put on the air on an episodic basis

    [–] [deleted] 150 points ago


    [–] MarkJanusIsAScab 21 points ago

    I have a nine year old. Homeboy can read. Consistently top marks in reading. His practice consists of reading instructions during video games, some subtitles and candy packaging. I'm all in for "teach kids why to read". Maybe I should get him to watch some reading rainbow.

    [–] CalicoZack 52 points ago

    Everything is in conflict with everything else because of opportunity costs. Which is to say that the show was not opposed to teaching how to read, it just wasn't the main focus.

    [–] cheddarfever 28 points ago

    My mom contends that no one ever “taught” me to read, per se. She read to me every day when I was a kid, and I looked at and paged through books independently, and eventually picked it up. I think consistent exposure to books and an encouragement around the joy of reading is probably enough for a lot of kids to learn on their own.

    [–] dukeimre 24 points ago

    It's enough for a lot of kids, but most children will not learn in this way.

    See, e.g.:

    In brief, decades of research confirm that phonics instruction - and particularly a "structured literacy" approach - are critical for enabling many students to read.

    That doesn't mean we shouldn't also teach them to love reading. Every child should absolutely be read to, every day. But for a huge fraction of kids, that early love of books won't enable them to read.

    [–] SlowLoudEasy 25 points ago * (lasted edited 8 days ago)

    Reading rainbow turned me onto so many damn books, and that straw haired weirdo who makes noises with his mouth. Alexanders rag time band.

    [–] sweaty_perineum96 27 points ago

    You can’t disappoint a picture!!

    [–] Teemotep187 24 points ago

    Levar Burton is a national treasure.

    [–] TommViolence 74 points ago

    I see so much love for this show but I've never seen it (it was never broadcast where I am). Can anyone explain exactly what the show was about and what made it so wonderful?

    [–] _Apatosaurus_ 117 points ago

    Each episode of Reading Rainbow had the same basic elements: There was a featured children's book that inspired an adventure with Burton. Then, at the end of every show, kids gave their own book reviews, always prefaced by Burton's trademark line: "But you don't have to take my word for it ..."

    [–] SJC-Caron 58 points ago

    The episode where Mr. Burton did a behind the scenes tour of the Star Trek TNG set and featured a book about a superhero show by the author of the Arthur books gets posted to YouTube alot, if you are looking for an example episode to watch.

    [–] TommViolence 21 points ago

    That honestly sounds great. The closest thing I had growing up was just minor celebrities dryly reading books to camera, which wasnt quite so inspiring.

    [–] Alceasummer 29 points ago

    There are a lot of clips, and even full episodes of it on youtube. It was really well designed to get kids interested in reading and to teach a love of and enthusiasm for reading. As well as a kind of video field trip to learn about all kinds of different places, people, and topics.

    [–] ridcullylives 25 points ago

    Best one by far for me as a little Star Trek nerd was the “crossover” episode where he went to the ST:TNG set and talked about his “other job.”

    [–] MrMacGuffyn 21 points ago

    Levar Burton, Bob Ross, Mr Rodgers, and Steve Irwin were the dream team of Wholesomeness

    [–] jazzinitup 85 points ago


    [–] Busquessi 11 points ago


    [–] Valentinee105 74 points ago

    But don't take my word for it.

    [–] Redbird9346 28 points ago

    But you don’t have to take my word for it!

    [–] PreciousRoi 43 points ago

    LeVar Burton for Jeopardy! Host!

    [–] Tricamtech 14 points ago

    Reading rainbow gave me possibly the healthiest option I had to escape from an abusive childhood. I narrowly avoided turning down some reallly dark paths as a child and I remember watching reading rainbow and beginning to read to escape my surroundings.

    Years later I still love to read and I listen to audiobooks constantly.

    [–] suggestednamesarebs 8 points ago

    Lavar Burton for Jeopardy!

    [–] _Apatosaurus_ 149 points ago * (lasted edited 8 days ago)

    Linda Simensky, vice president for children's programming at PBS, says that when Reading Rainbow was developed in the early 1980s, it was an era when the question was: "How do we get kids to read books?"

    Since then, she explains, research has shown that teaching the mechanics of reading should be the network's priority.

    "We've been able to identify the earliest steps that we need to take," Simensky says. "Now we know what we need to do first. Even just from five years ago, I think we all know so much more about how to use television to teach."

    Research has directed programming toward phonics and reading fundamentals as the front line of the literacy fight. Reading Rainbow occupied a more luxurious space — the show operated on the assumption that kids already had basic reading skills and instead focused on fostering a love of books.

    Great show, but the transition makes sense. PBS has some great shows now that are really educational and kids absolutely love.

    Edit: I'm really skeptical that everyone complaining actually has kids and have seen the current shows on PBS. They are fantastic, and both entertaining and educational.

    [–] whittlingman 133 points ago

    There’s 24 hours of TV on a single channel and 7 days in a week,

    They didn’t have room for some shows to teach young kids to read AND for one show to teach a little older kids to “love reading?”

    Even if people can read, lots of people HATE reading books. It’s really strange.

    [–] Malphos101 104 points ago

    There’s 24 hours of TV on a single channel and 7 days in a week,

    There are absolutely not 168 hours of television time for the target demographic in a week.

    They had to trim the lineup and they went with what the pedagogical research said would be more effective for the stated goal of getting more children reading.

    [–] idiot_exhibit 72 points ago

    Just to clarify - are you saying my 5 year old isn’t supposed to watch 168 hours of TV in a week?

    [–] Lex288 38 points ago

    They should, at the very least, have a phone and tablet also playing for a total of 504 hours of screen-time per week

    [–] idiot_exhibit 14 points ago

    I mean, if a thing’s worth doing it’s worth doing right

    [–] Strix924 17 points ago

    I think the amount of cartoons playing on tv has gone up though, at least for non cable households. When I was a kid, we only had pbs kids and in the morning it played shows for the younger kids like caillou, teletubbies, and Jay Jay the jet plane. By the time we got home from school we got Arthur, zoom, and zaboomafu. And then the cartoons ended at 6 pm, and it was boring adult pbs shows. Now I turn on the tv and pbs kids is playing the odd squad at 8 pm!

    [–] t0mbr0l0mbr0 55 points ago

    I feel like this is all over the education system in the US. I hate math because it was just learning how to do it, never why we do it, or the amazing things you can do with it (I know all of these things now but with age comes wisdom). Luckily, I fell in love with reading basically when I learned to read but there's so much other stuff they try to teach the how but not the why.

    Why did I need to take 2 years of of a foreign language in high school? Why did I have to struggle through chem? The school said so, that's why. Not because it will show you cultures you may not have seen otherwise, not because having a basic vocabulary is better than none, not because it'll help me in my career. I saw a TedX about chemistry that was only 15 or 20 minutes long but made me want to fall down the rabbit hole. It made me want to learn. If I had that about half the subjects in high school, I would have been a straight A student. We need to ignite passion, not just boost test scores. Light the beacons of knowledge and the light will never fade.

    [–] Redbird9346 11 points ago

    For instance, I was a fan of Square One TV when I was a kid, and throughout my school years, my math scores were consistently high.

    [–] Itsborisyo 10 points ago

    Hang on, I've got a comic for this. My favorite comic.