‘Love of Literacy Week’ continues – Turn off the TV tonight

– It’s not

Must See TV Thursday,

but turning off television sets tonight still requires some
GILROY – It’s not “Must See TV Thursday,” but turning off television sets tonight still requires some sacrifice.

“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” is on at 8:30 p.m. And then there’s the all new “Frasier” episode, where a seemingly fit Niles Crane must undergo heart-bypass surgery in part two of a three-part “seriocomic episode,” as TV Guide Online describes.

That’s what families who take part in “Turn Off the TV Tuesday” will be missing tonight when local school district officials hope that reading and family time replace sitcoms and reality shows.

Thank your lucky stars there’s such things as VCRs.

“Turn Off the TV Tuesday” is part of the Gilroy Unified School District’s first-ever “Love of Literacy Week,” which started Monday and runs through Friday. It is one of several other literacy-related events and activities designed to promote the educational value and the joy of reading and writing.

The week caps off Friday with an event called “Drop Everything And Read” (DEAR) time. From 1 to 2 p.m., students and the rest of the community are being asked to take time out to read.

For some families, making reading a priority on Tuesday night won’t be too much of a challenge.

“We don’t watch a lot of TV. When you walk into our house you can always find someone reading any time of the day,” says Tom Bundros, who was elected Nov. 5 to the GUSD Board of Trustees.

Bundros’ family only recently made their television a permanent part of their furniture collection. Previously, the family had only brought out their set when Bundros’ father-in-law came over.

“He felt we were depriving the kids so he said, ‘When I visit, I want to watch the news,'” Bundros explained. “After he’d leave, the TV would get put away. It started to develop patterns for my kids that didn’t involve TV watching.”

GUSD parent and Morgan Hill teacher Jackie Stevens will have a little more of a challenge on her hands tonight. That’s not because she doesn’t support the district’s effort to emphasize the joy of reading. Rather, it has to do with sharks, the San Jose Sharks.

“My son and my husband are mental Sharks fans. Both of them play hockey, so the game is going to be on,” Stevens said. “But I’m still

com-mitted to turning the TV off for a time and take some extra time to do reading.”

Stevens said she was going to bring home some materials from her sixth-grade classroom and read to her kids. Even though her children are in middle and high school, she says the content in these particular stories make for good discussion.

For more information, visit the GUSD Web site at www.gusd.k12.ca.us.

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