Since they are public officials that I actually vote on, I find it appropriate that I make reasoned criticism of the actions of the Ukiah Unified School Board. Some will actually read this blog and write me e-mails, talk to me privately, and otherwise engage me in reasoned conversation that has never delved into a school board member talking bad about my mother.
Saying that, I think it’s time for some praise for Ukiah Unified Board Members.
Ukiah Reads is the brain child of board members Megan Van Sant and Anne Molgaard. It’s a selection of books recommend by the pair that is broken down by grade level. The selections are phenomenal. They mix in some of the classic literature that children should be exposed to (James and the Giant Peach, Ramona the Pest, Cannery Row) with modern works that are excellent but yet to be appreciated by youth (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, Harry Potter Series, Million Dollar Throw). Oh, and look at what’s on the list for those entering 10th grade:
Nice to know that Ukiah has a greater literary appreciation than, oh let’s say, Chicago.
“The impetus came from our efforts to find age-appropriate summer reading material for our own children. I was tired of having to go to Internet sites of schools that my nieces and nephews were attending to find book lists. We wanted to create something from our own district."
All the teachers received a booklet with the recommendations and my hope is that his catches on. I like a board that wants kids to be learned, and isn’t just satisfied with yacking. This list is the rubber meeting the road, and it’s good. I mean, this is one of those things that I read and went “Damn, this is totally cool.”
I hope it continues.