Saving boys' reading souls with fart jokes
| Jul 21, 2010
Can fart jokes save the reading souls of boys? You better hope so.
Boys have lagged behind girls in reading achievement for more than 20 years, but the gender gap now exists in nearly every state and has widened to mammoth proportions — as much as 10 percentage points in some, according to the Center on Education Policy. "It certainly should set off alarm bells," said the center's director, Jack Jennings. "It's a significant separation."
Parents of reluctant readers complain that boys are forced to stick to stuffy required school lists that exclude nonfiction or silly subjects, or have teachers who cater to higher achievers and girls. They're hoping books that exploit boys' love of bodily functions and gross-out humor can close the gap. "It's like pulling out fingernails. He absolutely does not want to read," said Muscle Shoals, Ala., dad Todd Thompson of his 13-year-old, Hunter. "I read constantly growing up. So did his mother. So does his 8-year-old sister, but he's a go-go kid. To him, books are a waste of time." Read the Associated Press article online.