Monday, March 12, 2007

Pass the book, please

No, I don't spend all of my time reading. Just now, I must confess, I was watching tv! The NBC Evening News (another confession: we don't have cable) has a regular segment called, "What Works." Tonight, it featured a book giveaway program started by a doctor who wanted to make sure that all of his patients owned books. The program, Reach Out and Read, has become a national effort, with studies showing that it improves literacy among particpant kids. Bravo!

Could something like that work for environmental literacy? On an online book club focusing on Rachel Carson's works, we've been bemoaning the fact that few people have heard of Carson, Aldo Leopold, or other environmental leaders. Maybe handing out free books might help. Of course we'd need to hand out a few million. Could it be done? Should it? Would it make sense to join established programs, such as Reach Out and Read, then lobby for a certain portion of the gift books be eco-focused (eco-friendly, green published would be nice, too). Or are there better ways to get kids excited about environmental leaders and their messages?

To learn more about the doctors' reading program, visit Reach Out and Read . Then let me know about any similar book programs that might work for kids' or adults' environmental literacy. Thanks!

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