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Reading now will open many doors for youth

Once upon a time, education centered on the "three Rs" - Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic.

Somehow, along the way, our society has managed to downplay the importance of reading.

Look no further than the popularity of television. Reading requires a person to engage fully. Have you ever tried to read and do something else? It's difficult, if not impossible.

Watching television, however, is a passive pastime. Because of TV our vocabulary has now developed entire new words and phrases to describe the acts involved in plopping down in front of the TV - channel surfing, couch potato and clicker are just three of the many.

With that said, we're thrilled when we see unique programs intended to help children see the lifetime benefits of reading - and enjoying it.

Recent programs throughout the country celebrated the life of famed children's author Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss.

Geisel's wonderfully creative and catchy rhyming yarns have spun the imagines of millions of children throughout the years. And for many of us, those farcical tales helped spark an early love of reading.

A recent program at Fairland East Elementary School celebrated the life of Dr. Seuss as part of the Read Across America program - what a wonderful thing to see a bright-eyed child enthralled by a book.

At Whitwell Elementary School in Ironton, students have read more than 23,000 books since the beginning of the school year. Again, it's just amazing.

In addition, it's wonderful to see our future embracing the written word for all that offers and for the worlds of wonder it can open for both young and old alike.

Perhaps British author Martin Farquhar Tupper said it best.

"A good book is the best of friends, the same to-day and for ever."

We couldn't agree more and we're delighted that dozens and dozens of children in our area are learning that lesson each day in our schools.