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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Southern slugfest
May 23, 2024
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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
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A fighter jet squadron flies over during the National Anthem before Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas at Olsen Field on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Bryan-College Station Regional participants announced
Ian Curtis, Sports Writer • May 27, 2024

For the second time in three seasons, No. 3 national seed Texas A&M baseball will host the Bryan-College Station Regional, where it’ll...

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Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Reading Rainbow writes a new chapter

Graphic by Josh Seal
Graphic by Josh Seal

A hot-button topic facing today’s youth — one out of every four American children will grow up illiterate according to the Reading Rainbow Kickstarter page, a campaign to combat child illiteracy that snowballed in support as soon as its announcement in May.
With 14 days to go, Reading Rainbow has exceeded its goal over $1 million. Its 81,500 backers have raised close to $4 million.
In a six-minute video pitch, LeVar Burton, lays out three concrete goals to combat the illiteracy problem.
“With the money pledged here we are going to do 3 things: develop a web-enabled Reading Rainbow for the home, create a classroom version with the tools our teachers need and subsidize the cost so that the schools most in need can use Reading Rainbow for free,” said Burton in his promo video.
Peyton Austin, senior environmental studies major, was a regular Reading Rainbow viewer as a child. He said he thought efforts like Burton’s were great for encouraging kids to continue reading, but even better for exposing new readers to the written word.
“I think it’s a good tool for kids who want to learn more about reading, and it’s also a good tool for those kids who don’t ever read and then see something on TV about it,” Austin said. “And I think by seeing something you like on there or seeing something enough, eventually you want to pick it up and start reading.”
Austin said Reading Rainbow helped open him up to a new life of ideas, and that without it, he may not have been exposed to certain subjects.
“I think it expanded my horizons,” Austin said. “I think it was more of a show to teach kids about other things, than say Sesame Street or Barney that were just teaching you about trying to love everybody and love everything.”
Austin said reading was important to him and even beyond basic education, it helps prepare individuals for real life.
“[Reading] helps with creativity,” Austin said. “You’re conceptualizing all these things in your mind, giving faces to these people and giving them backgrounds without really even thinking about it. It helps you become cultured, learning about other cultures, maybe seeing things through a lens that is somewhat impossible for you or at least not your normal way to see things.”
Sarah Ho, a doctoral student in agricultural leadership education and communication, said she sees promise in innovative ideas, especially because younger generations are often familiar with mobile technological platforms.
“You see in K-12 where lots of organizations have been giving schools the resources to help students in a variety of different ways so that they can learn critically, creatively, and be a little more strategic in their thinking,” Ho said.
Ho, who has done some research in the area of mobile platforms for educational use, said generally students are very receptive to these mobile technologies and there is an added benefit even of centralizing responsibilities for them.
“The students that participated in the study I think were more open to mobile technologies because they were at their disposal all the time,” Ho said. “It could be their smartphones or their tablets or even just laptops in general. I think also by having those [mobile] platforms it helps students integrate academic responsibilities with some of their other responsibilities to maybe emphasize that ‘Yes, I’m a student, but I’m also these other types of roles.’”
Ho said that ‘private’ curriculum development, like what Burton is doing with Reading Rainbow, is more common than not. She said the important thing to remember is that educators, not curriculum developers, are the ones actually in the classrooms.
“In K-12 it happens a lot. I mean there are a lot of different organizations and privately funded groups that are creating all kinds of curriculums, and some will sell them to school districts and others will just give them to school districts.” Ho said. “I think the important thing to keep in mind is that it [the choice of implementation] remain in the power of school districts and those professionals within that location who understand the needs of their students to decide whether or not to implement [the private curriculums]. I think that’s the key.”

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