On a recent episode of Communicast: A Communication Skills Podcast, the guest and I discussed the power of reading with regard to developing communication skills. This conversation reminded me of the old show, Reading Rainbow. For many of us who came of age in the ’80s and ’90s, the mere mention of Reading Rainbow conjures nostalgic memories of our elementary school days. Picture this: a classroom filled with eager young minds, gathered around a television screen (likely on a rolling cart), captivated by the vibrant world brought to life by this show and its iconic theme song. Little did we know then that those cherished moments spent watching Reading Rainbow were laying the foundation for essential communication skills that would serve us throughout our lives. Through its eclectic selection of books and engaging storytelling, Reading Rainbow not only fostered a love for literature but also nurtured essential communication skills that endure to this day.

Expanding Horizons Through Literature

Central to the ethos of Reading Rainbow was the idea that books have the power to transport us to far-flung realms and ignite our imagination. Each episode whisked viewers away on literary adventures, exploring diverse cultures, historical events, and fantastical worlds. Whether it was the enchanting pages of a fairy tale or the gripping narrative of a biography, Reading Rainbow encouraged children to embark on a journey of discovery through the written word.

In much the same way, the act of reading expands our horizons and broadens our understanding of the world. By immersing ourselves in different perspectives and narratives, we develop empathy, critical thinking, and cultural awareness—all essential facets of effective communication.

Empowerment Through Literacy

Beyond the sheer joy of reading, Reading Rainbow championed the transformative power of literacy. Through its “Butterfly in the Sky” mantra, the show instilled in viewers the belief that they could soar to new heights through the magic of books. This message of empowerment resonated deeply with audiences, instilling confidence and self-belief in countless young minds.

Similarly, the ability to communicate effectively empowers individuals to express themselves authentically and advocate for their ideas. Whether it’s speaking up in a meeting, presenting a persuasive argument, or simply engaging in meaningful conversations, strong communication skills are the wings that propel us towards our goals and aspirations.

A Lasting Legacy

While Reading Rainbow may have concluded its television run long ago, its legacy lives on in the hearts and minds of those who were touched by its message. As we pay homage to this beloved educational show, let us heed its timeless lessons on the power of reading to enrich our lives and strengthen our communication skills. Whether we’re flipping through the pages of a cherished book or engaging in a lively discussion, let us remember that the journey to effective communication often begins with a love for reading. Take a look, it’s in a book!

If you want to listen to the full conversation referenced in this blog, you can find it here.