All Gasoline; No Brakes

In an article in today's March 10, 2010 NY Times, there is a report on the eviction of the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood advocacy group from the Boston-based mental health center where they had been for over a decade. As the ripples of this decision lap out around the country the Times quotes a couple of health professionals on the decision. One, Dr. Carl Bell who is president and chief executive of the Community Mental Health Council in Chicago, was quoted as saying, "Children are all gasoline and no brakes and whether it’s cigarettes, alcohol or junk food, we need advocates to tell society to stop giving children so much gasoline.”

That quote really struck me as an interesting and all-too-true description of kids. And it also struck me that our work with kids and reading, recommending great books, nurturing their love of literature and language is a positive way of fueling that gasoline. When we ignite kids and support them in creating fun paths to literacy; when we encourage free reading choices so kids can pursue their reading passions, we - as adult guides to literacy - are saying clearly "Go for it!". That's fuel for a fire that I can get behind.

Image: 'LP640.' http://www.flickr.com/photos/26977717@N02/4388501292

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