There’s no next time! :(
October 15, 2009
Reading Rainbow comes to the end of its 26-year run on Friday [August 28]; it has won more than two-dozen Emmys, and is the third longest-running children’s show in PBS history — outlasted only by Sesame Street and Mister Rogers.
Grant says the funding crunch is partially to blame, but the decision to end Reading Rainbow can also be traced to a shift in the philosophy of educational television programming. The change started with the Department of Education under the Bush administration, he explains, which wanted to see a much heavier focus on the basic tools of reading — like phonics and spelling.
Grant says that PBS, CPB and the Department of Education put significant funding toward programming that would teach kids how to read — but that’s not what Reading Rainbow was trying to do.
So yeah, phonics, the thing that literally funded my graduate education in reading has killed my favorite childhood reading show. It’s a full circle moment.