Editor,

What is the best book you have ever read? Have you heard or read that many youngsters and adults are wandering around in a drug-induced fog? Suicide, even. What to do, other than beat our gums and call our legislator?

There's something that is being overlooked that can ground children to worth-fantasies and/or dreams — books! Books can take anyone into exciting adventures (Narnia series) and the amazing lives of great heroes of faith, business, sciences, government, music and art.

Parents, pastors, teachers, Sunday School teachers, mayors, please push reading books, books, books. Relay a great quote, give books for birthdays and Christmas, set the example by reading one, or a dozen. Ask for more librarians, limit ear time (gadgets) and entertainment time (hard, but possible.

Pastors and Sunday School teachers could boost a special missionary or other book every fifth Sunday (five per year) and heighten commitment to the Kingdom of God. Highlight it a week ahead of time.

Why do all this? Considerable research shows that when schools have libraries and high quality programs, student achievement is higher in test scores, graduation rates are higher and writing, reading and math scores are higher. Book reading students are more prepared for college or careers than TV watchers (couch potatoes, anyone). Libraries are typically the only source of reading material for youngsters in poverty. See American Association of School Libraries for more.

Get a kerosene lamp and a couple of books for the little ones before the next power outage.

J.B. Armstrong

Bardstown, Kentucky

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