Well, I took a break from my normal song title subjects to share this article with you guys. Other than using the phrase "people of color", which I'm kind of surprised about, I thought it was a really good article. Here's a link to the website for the SA Express page: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/columnists/cclack/stories/MYSA041007.1P.clack.241c6fb.html
And here's the article itself if the link doesn't work:
Cary Clack: Boys need to know it's cool to read
Web Posted: 04/09/2007 06:23 PM CDT
San Antonio Express-News
A recent and popular pastime among men is to create lists of "Man Laws," which are good-natured rules that "real" men must abide by or risk forfeiting their masculinity.
Aside from the fact that there should only be one "man law" mandating that one never allow anybody else to define what being a man is, the lists are funny yet revealing in the insecurities of men.
Among boys there appears to be an unwritten law that real men or boys don't read, that to sit down and actually read a book is the nerdish activity of dorks and losers. Too many don't know and aren't interested in learning that words are weapons and language is a battalion by which they can advance their ideas, that reading fuels the imagination and unveils hidden possibilities, and that the mind is a limitless bank from which we can only withdraw the knowledge that we deposit into it.
The fallacy that reading is a sign of weakness is as ridiculous, shallow and self-defeating as the misguided notion among some young people of color that to be smart, articulate and academically ambitious is equal to "acting white."
In an attempt to challenge this perception, two librarians at Wood Middle School have created at their school, and funded with their own money, a boys book club called, Cool Guys Read.
"Our goal is to promote reading, literacy and lifelong learning to our male students who tend to think that reading is not cool," says head librarian Jamie Jennings.
She and Shannon Sankey had noticed the advantage that female students have over male students in communicating.
"Girls were very verbal and ran over the boys," says Jennings.
Cool Guys Read also encourages adult males from the community to participate in the program and serve as reading role models. The first book read by the group was "The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp" by Rick Yancey.
After reading the book, eight students and four men joined Jennings and Sankey one recent morning in the school library before classes started to discuss the book over snacks. They wore orange T-shirts, designed by one of the students, that had Cool Guys Read stitched in the back.
The discussion was energetic and enthusiastic with the consensus being that it was a good book. The only negative comment came from a student who said, "I couldn't convince my brother to read it because he's just lazy."
After the discussion, a faculty member, Russ Griffith, looked around the table and asked, "There are only 12 cool guys in this school?"
Nate Finley, an eighth-grader, conceded that before joining the group, he didn't read much but, "I've become an avid reader now that I'm in this group."
Jacob Perez, another eighth-grader, says that being part of the club helps him to relate better to people.
"It's being part of a team," he says. "It's good knowing others will count on your opinion."
Josh Alejandro, also in the eighth grade, was a big reader before joining the club and says that most of his peers don't read because they're scared and worried about not being popular.
"Most people think reading is boring and nothing special, and that it's for nerds," he says. But such limited thinking doesn't bother him. "I really don't care what people say. If it's not true, I don't care."
Reading is a power that unleashes other good and life-changing powers, a power no man, or boy, should deny himself.
Tags: cary clack
Current Location: Home
Current Mood: thoughtful
Current Music: Silence...