Friday, March 02, 2007

"Book It" faces critisizms

Back when I was in elementary school, I remeber a program which offered two free passes to the local Six Flags amusement park to any child who read for a certain amount of time (I think something like 260 minutes) within a period of a few months. I never was a huge fan of roller coasters but I always thought that programs whose intent was to get children reading were a good idea.

Another program of which I wasn't previously aware, is known as "Book It" which offers free Pizza Hut pizza to motivate children to read.

However, it seems this program has come under attack after nearly 22 years in existance. The reason? It encourages junk food consumption.

While I'm not one to think that eating pizza for every meal is especially healthy (despite me being a college student), I don't see anything particularly wrong with a single pizza being offered as a reward. Rewards are supposed to be something special.

So I wonder what these parents encourage as an alternative.

"Here dear. Read this book and I'll give you a nice juicy carrot," doesn't have quite the same ring.

If parents don't want their kids entering in the program, that's fine. But why ruin the good work that Book It has done because some parents are health food nuts?

3 comments:

Aerik said...

Heck yeah! My elementary school did the pizza hut thing. It was awesome.

You bet your sweet ass I got some pizza hut.

But Pizza Hut has really gone downhill since then. Sad.

Psamathos said...

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.

I see that Linn has no ideological bias here. She is basing these claims purely on reasonable conclusions drawn from carefully collected data, I'm sure.

Gag.

If this was a program done by an unremarkable local pizza place, she would have no problem with it, I'm sure. This just shows how completely irrelevant the straw man of "pizza causes obesity" really is. This woman is either so deluded that she has fooled herself into thinking that this is a reasonable argument, or she is simply manipulating the media into spreading her ideology. It's difficult to say, although I suspect it's a bit of both.

Aerik said...

Heck yeah! My elementary school did the pizza hut thing. It was awesome.

You bet your sweet ass I got some pizza hut.

But Pizza Hut has really gone downhill since then. Sad.