Monday, October 15, 2012
The Case For Big Bird
While my blog is most definitely apolitical in nature, I can't help but contemplate the upcoming election, and the rhetoric and posturing, and how it affects my life, and the life of my children. You might suspect from my geographical location that I am a PBS fan, and you'd be right. I also get pretty fired up about the school lunch program. While I think this whole Big Bird thing has become a talking point, and not nearly as important as issues like jobs, the economy, and education, I do think there is connection between early childhood education and those big issues, and it's worth my time to stand on my own soapbox to give a quick pitch.
I have the absolute luxury of being able to stay at home with my younger child. I have to make financial sacrifices in order to do so, but I do it, because it makes the most sense for our family. Every morning while I clean up the breakfast dishes, make the beds, and get the laundry moving, Wylie gets to watch a show. His favorites include Wild Kratts, Dinosaur Train, and occasionally Sesame Street, all on PBS. To say that these shows have enriched his understanding of the world, sparked his curiosity, expanded his vocabulary, and helped to develop his critical thinking skills would be an understatement. Because we have access and the means to afford it, he attends preschool a couple of days a week; an enrichment that many families in this country simply cannot afford. While I know that Sesame Street itself gets most of it's funding from sponsors and private donations, federal de-funding would compromise countless programs, and severely limit access to PBS for rural populations.
Here's my case for Big Bird: The people with the least access to early childhood education need this the most, and at 1/100th of one percent of our federal budget, why single it out? Anyone with a television can have access to this enrichment. Truly, kids deserve better. They deserve access to preschool, but until then we have Big Bird and friends. Our government should leave it be, and as individuals, if we can afford it, we should support our local public television and radio stations. It's really the least we can do.