Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Ignorant American

It appears that spring has finally sprung. The sun has been shining all day, and people are outside walking around without hats, mittens, boots, scarves, and the rest of the northern Minnesota winter attire. Granted, it's supposed to snow a little bit on Saturday. April snow showers don't last long, so that's okay. Spring means it's time for me to start planning the Summer Library Program. Okay, I really should have done this while it was still winter, but I just don't work that way (by "that way", I mean in a timely manner.) I broke open my Summer Reading manual yesterday afternoon. I think I know how I'm going to work it this year. The theme; as mentioned before, is: It will be a good opportunity to explore some stories from around the world. The kids in our communities can become world travelers via the summer library program this year. We'll see if we can learn something about other countries.

Americans are known to be pretty ignorant about other countries in the world, but maybe this summer will nudge our kids towards a more competent future. I wish I could say that I know a lot about the world: who's in charge, issues facing other countries; but honestly, I have to look at a map in order to remember exactly where any country beyond North America is located. At the meeting for the kick off of the summer reading program, we played a game of "cross off the boxes". Each box had some kind of "find someone who". There were plenty of children's library workers there, and it was pretty sad that out of all of us, only one person knew the Prime Minister of Canada--and that person wasn't even in the room with us. It was the receptionist who knew. Bully for the receptionist, not-so-bully for the rest of us. It was a rude awakening for us. We are ignorant of other countries. Everyone in the world has heard of Barack Obama, and we expect that everyone know who he is. Do you know who Stephen Harper is? Right, he's the Prime Minister of Canada. How many current prime ministers or presidents can you name? I know I can't name very many. I-G-N-O-R-A-N-T. What can we expect our children to learn about a world we know nothing about?

I suppose our kids should not be the only ones reading around the world this summer.

1 comment:

  1. Good post, Alicia. I could go on and on about this subject, but I will not do so. Here is another peace of information about our neighbors to the north, Canadians are going to have elections, because the canadian oposition had a no-confidence vote in the parliament. The really interesting fact is though, Canadians do not have regular scheduled elections.