Reading makes a difference in our children#039;s lives

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Last week, Troy CPA Jerry Carden, talking to the Exchange Club about tax reform, commented on the Alabama Reading Initiative that would be fully funded if the $1.2 billion tax package is approved by Alabama voters Sept. 9.

He told Exchanger Club members that if parents turned off the television and read to their children instead, there might not be a need for such a program at all.

His point is well taken. Children today spend more time in front of the television than ever before, according to most academic research on the issue.

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The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends parents limit their children's television view time to less than two hours per day. The academy endorses research that shows children have fewer behavioral problems when the amount of TV they view is cut back.

So what can parents do to fill in the hours of time without the TV babysitter?

The Troy Public Library is a perfect alternative - as are our other area libraries. TPL's just-completed summer reading program is proof that children can survive on a book, rather than on television. In the three- to six-year old division alone, the top four kids read a total of 6,918 pages this summer.

We commend the library for its efforts in encouraging youngsters to read and we challenge parents to spend more time reading with their children.