It’s understandable, I suppose, for young people to think of “Star Wars” and the movies, when they hear the term “stormtrooper” but when I hear that word it makes me think of something else entirely. It doesn’t make me think of literacy programs, it brings thoughts of bookburning and genocide and the Halocaust.
I don’t have visions of Darth Vader and Boba Fett. My mind sees the evil of Adolf Hitler and his bloody-handed henchmen. His stormtroopers weren’t from a movie or a video game.
So here’s another thing I’m really conflicted about: The San Bernardino City Unified School District has a program called City of Readers, which has teamed up with Barnes & Noble bookstore in Redlands for a fundraiser, which is a good thing.
“Stormtroopers from the 501st Legion will promote literacy and support City of Readers at the Nov. 13 fundraiser and community event,” says a news release from the school district. “Children and adults will have the chance to interact with Darth Vader, Boba Fett, and Stormtroopers from 1 to 3 p.m. on (that) Saturday. Families are encouraged to bring a camera to take photos with the 501st Legion.
It goes on to say, “The 501st Legion is an international, volunteer organization dedicated to promoting interest in all things Star Wars and supporting local charity and fundraising events.” I think they could have chosen a better name.
“The City of Readers fundraiser will begin at 9 a.m. on Nov. 13 and continue throughout the day and into Nov. 14 with activities, book readings, live music, and more,” the release explains.
The money raised through the event “will be used to support and promote literacy throughout the San Bernardino and Highland communities, including book giveaways.”
The release states, “Barnes & Noble will donate 10 percent of every sale, including books and caf items, to City of Readers when customers mention City of Readers or book fair I.D. 10146157 during checkout. “
It’s a noble cause and I’m 100 percent behind programs to help children achieve literacy.
But I wonder if the kids know where the term stormtrooper really came from. Ask your fifth-grader or your sophomore if they know.
I loved watching the “Star Wars” movies with my son but we both knew it was a movie and that the real stormtroopers had no entertainment value.
Maybe this event can be turned into a learning experience. It couldn’t hurt.