Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Dick, Jane and Sally (1956)

This is where it all began for me; as far as reading goes. Dick and his two sisters, Jane and Sally, taught me how to read by allowing me to look into their little world. In a way they were the first “reality” type of show. They did the things we all do at the age of 5, at least back then. We waited for our Dads to come home from work, while our Moms took care of us. And the luckier kids had dogs, like Spot to play with.

Sue still has her 1st grade reader, “The New We Look and See” by New Basic Readers. This is the 1956 edition. They say that this system of teaching young people is outdated and inefficient. Of course, I disagree. Upon the average, I read about 100 books per year, more if I were to count the ones which I begin but do not finish, and even more when you add in the number of books I take out from the library in order to read a specific portion, of which I have interest.

I am in favor of any program which teaches children to read; and even more so when it comes to any program urging young people to continue reading past the point of being functional. Dick, Jane and Sally were my first fictional characters; beyond the ones which my mom read to me at bedtime. These were characters to whom I could relate, and; more importantly; access on my own. They were a vehicle to make me want to read beyond the level in which I could merely pass the test.

I don’t know if they are still using these books anymore, but I hope so. If not, someone please tell me; whatever happened to Dick, Jane and Sally? Did they get old, like we did? Are they retired and living in Florida, like my Aunt Gloria? Or, have they gone the way of all things when they are considered obsolete? And if you see them, could you say hello for me? I kind of miss them.

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