My Weekly Reader

1960 My Weekly Reader

Unfortunately, I can’t remember which day it was. But one day each week, we received a delightful little four-page read in school: My Weekly Reader.

Thanks to this fascinating little periodical, I knew the names of every astronaut who went into space between 1969 and 1972. In fourth grade, our teacher made us memorize them, and I kept doing so for years afterwards. My Weekly Reader would prominently trumpet their triumphs, even with the later moon missions that the public lost interest in.

Then again, there was Peanut and Jocko. The monkey and elephant would crack wise and further inspire class clowns like myself.

The idea behind MWR was that you would study them on your own, then discuss them in class. It was more like fun than work.

n researching this piece, I learned that the familiar flyer was first produced way back in 1928 by Eleanor M. Johnson, who died in 1987. So it’s far more than a Boomer tradition. In fact, it’s still going strong today! Even Peanut and Jocko are continuing to inspire the next generations of class clowns.

Here’s to Eleanor, who found a way to inject a little fun into an otherwise humdrum school day, and made you learn something in the process.

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