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.