We've formed a Literacy Committee in Tahsis, working with a parent group "Literacy Now", and I'll admit I went along to the first meeting because, as a writer, I felt "obligated" to support...well, I am now vice president. We've got a committment of funding for three years...and before we get a nickel of it I'm close to exhausted.
YEARS ago I did a series of adaptations of FN legends for kids and I tested them on grand children and on kids in a grade 2-3 class at the elementary school in my neighbourhood. (call in the experts, eh?)
So here we are YEARS later, years of LiEbral economics, strife with the teachers, cuts to school funding, you know the scenarios, I'm sure...and I'm in the library, checking out a whack of books and this young woman comes over with a tentative smile..are you..? Yes, I admit, I am...first thing she wants to know is will I go in and "do" things with her class...then, when we've made our way through that thorn patch, can I suggest any books suitable for grade 4-5-6...and I'm standing there trying to think and the librarian asks Do you have Anne's series of legends and the teacher says Not this year, I had them in my last school but I found the vocabulary was too advanced for grade five and...
and I nearly dropped to the floor. For one horrible moment I thought I was going to start to cry! (and I refuse to cry!!). Too advanced for grade five? I tell those stories to Lilli and she has just turned four years old. I've read those books to her since she was TWO.
Too advanced for grade five. Fuck, they were vetted on kids much younger than that a few years ago.
And now of course our lardarsed leader has come out all guns blazing against the elitist artists who are living off the fat of the land (damn, how do I sign on for that!!).
AND IT'S NO ACCIDENT. It is NO accident! Dumb us all down to the point we have no idea how to find out what's going on and then what goes on can destroy us completely.