than children who had been less frequent viewers when they were younger (Wright and Huston, 1995).
Central among the implementation issues we raise is teacher preparation and continuing professional development, but we cannot ignore the fact that many parts of society, from parents and community to the federal government, publishers, and the media should also take responsibility for bringing about change in the state of reading education. Many aspects of the existing situation call for researchers in fields that can contribute to the prevention of reading difficulties among young children to be active and aware. If there is variation and change, there is opportunity and need for involvement and analysis by those who know the specifics of literacy learning and development. From choices about teacher preparation and in-service development, to the development of curriculum guidelines and standards, to relations with publishers and media, researchers need to contribute their expertise to understanding what is, developing what can be, analyzing the consequences of the innovations, and trying for improvement again, as needed.
Professional and government leaders concerned about the reading problems in our society need to develop campaigns to help decrease their incidence and prevalence. Previous experiences, both successful and not, to disseminate knowledge and change behaviorssuch as smoking cessation, the use of seat belts, childhood immunization, promoting healthy eatingprovide starting points for thinking about how we could bring about broad-based changes in literacy practices with young children.
"Dissemination tends to be nobody's job," Weiss (1978) observed somewhat pessimistically. Our view is that, in matters of urgent national importance, such as the prevention of reading difficulties, dissemination of what we know and, more important still, implementation of effective practices and policies based on what we know, are everybody's obligation.