Spencer Christian

WRADvocate Profile: Spencer Christian

Spencer Christian joined the ABC7 News team in January 1999 and is the weather forecaster for ABC7 News weekdays, at 4pm, 6pm, and 9pm. He was also the co-host of The View from the Bay, ABC7's daily, live one-hour entertainment program from 2006 to 2010.

Spencer is the author of a series of children's books under the general heading "Spencer Christian's World of Wonders." The first four books are titled: "Can It Really Rain Frogs?","Shake, Rattle, and Roll", "What Makes the Grand Canyon Grand?", and "Is There a Dinosaur in Your Backyard?. Education and literacy continue to be among Spencer's passionate concerns, which is demonstrated in his commitment to being a WRADvocate with us this year!

To celebrate WRAD, Spencer will be returning to the Town School Library in San Francisco to do a special reading event (as he's done in two consecutive years).

You can find details of his event down below:

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012, 9 a.m.
Town School Library,
2750 Jackson Street,
San Francisco, CA 94415-1195

Read more about Spencer:

Can you share some of your earliest memories of reading and how they impacted you?

My parents began reading to me before I was a year old; and, from the moment I first began to understand the stories they were reading to me, I couldn’t wait to begin reading on my own.  I learned to read at the age of 4, and I remember vividly that I just couldn’t get enough.  Books stimulated my imagination and allowed me to “travel” to exciting places that I could not physically visit.  I remember being eager to finish my homework when I was about 7 or 8 years old, so I could then spend time reading whatever I wanted to read.  I would go to school the next day and tell my teacher what “unassigned” materials I had read on my own.  As you can imagine, my teacher was thrilled—as were my parents—but the greater thrill was MINE, because reading stirred my passion and enriched my life.

Is there a particular book that has changed your life in some way and why?

What I read as a child and as a young adult has had a profound influence on my professional life.  One of the most important assets for a journalist is intellectual curiosity.  Reading both stimulates and satisfies my far-reaching curiosity, and it has thereby better equipped me to be a thoughtful and insightful journalist.

What advice would you give to teachers, parents and caregivers who want to reach their struggling readers?

For the struggling or “reluctant” reader, I think it’s important for a parent or teacher to find out what that child finds interesting or exciting.  If it’s cartoons, encourage him or her to read comic books; if it’s sports, offer articles or magazines on sports; whatever that child’s interest may be, feed it with related reading material.  Sometimes a book may be intimidating to a struggling reader, so provide a magazine or short newspaper article instead.  Once youngsters begin reading about their “favorite things”, they will generally expand their reading to other subjects.

Do you have a memory of someone reading aloud to you that changed you in some way? How did that change you?

I remember my 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Montague, reading aloud to our class every Friday, when we received The Weekly Reader.  She read so beautifully that she seemed to paint pictures with her words.  I was so moved by her reading, that I was usually the first student to volunteer to continue reading aloud, when she finished.  It was in Mrs. Montague’s class that I became hooked on news.  She read aloud to our class in a way that made “current events” interesting and relatable.

It is said that stories and poems teach values. Is there one value in particular that has inspired your life
and your good work that might connect back to a book that was either read to you or that you read on your

I could cite so many stories and poems that teach values, but there is one poem that I feel teaches powerful lessons for living in just four eight-line stanzas: “If” by Rudyard Kipling.  While there is much to be gained from reading “If” in its entirety, there is one line which captures the essence of Kipling’s humble notion of dignity:  “Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch...”  You don’t have to be a professor of English literature to appreciate the meaning of that line.

You can follow more of Spencer's work on his Facebook page here.