The children's literature series "Long Ago and Far Away", which aired on PBS in the late 1980's and early 1990's, needs to return!
The children's literature series "Long Ago and Far Away", which aired on PBS in the late 1980's and early 1990's, needs to return! I am an elementary school teacher who recalls the rich and wonderful stories presented in this award-winning children's literature series, and would love to use them as part of my teaching. Years ago I even managed to secure a Discussion and Activity Guide, only to discover that the series was no longer available. To quote the guide's writer, Susan Hepler, "Television is a far-reaching, influential, and entertaining medium. Its potential for educating young children in the humanities, however, has largely been unrealized. Yet educators have seen the value of such public television programming... in motivating children to read the books that these programs feature. Long Ago and Far Away focuses on timeless stories, dramatizing or animating them to appeal to an audience of children five to nine years old and their families. The dramatizations are faithful to the spirit and intent of their literary sources. ... Subtleties in characterization and narrative, as well as the visual power of each film, invite children to experience the power of the story as it has been told or written. Consequently, when children encounter the actual book or a story similar to the one they have just viewed, they already have some familiarity with its content. This familiarity invites them to return to the literary source and to move into related literature." When there is something wonderful like this, and an enthusiastic audience waiting in the wings, why is it withheld for so long from the general public? Again, I appeal to a persuasive body to set this series in motion again. It is sorely needed.
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