Sunday, March 04, 2007

Sucks To Be A Kid - Part VIII

"Since 1985, that's been the gist of Pizza Hut's Book It, an incentive program used by 50,000 schools nationwide to reward young readers with free pizzas. The program is now under attack by child-development experts who say it promotes bad eating habits and turns teachers into corporate promoters.

Book It, which reaches about 22 million children a year, "epitomizes everything that's wrong with corporate-sponsored programs in school," said Susan Linn, a Harvard psychologist and co-founder of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood.

"In the name of education, it promotes junk food consumption to a captive audience ... and undermines parents by positioning family visits to Pizza Hut as an integral component of raising literate children," Linn said.

This week, Linn's organization called on parents to end their schools' participation in the long-standing program." (source)

I was always a reader...so Book It was just a fun bonus to something I would have done regardless of the offered incentive. But, whether Ms. Susan Linn wants to acknowledge it or not, many, many children don't like to read -aren't good at it-and just have no interest in it --so, if 4 bites of pizza jump startas an interest...well then good for Pizza Hut. How many kids (since 1985) have read just to get the gift certificate (especially low income kids that wouldn’t normally get to Pizza Hut) and ended up engrossed in the books they chose? If this program engaged even 100 new book lovers a year --isn’t it well worth the 620 calories? Does this woman even realize a Personal Pan Pizza could fit under a Maxwell House can these days? This is hardly an indulgence...

And I have to thank Corwin for his comments under the Baby Jihad post... I read a story like this (an others of its kind) and I start to loathe this country and the kooks that inhabit it... But then I remember that we don't need government approval to name our children (yet). So, where else would I live?

No, before anyone says it...I don't hate the country over a 2" pizza. I am disgusted with the entire educational thought police --and the fact that any fun that remains in the learning process is slowly being sucked away...

(H/T: Liz)

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