Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » BOOK IT, DANO

    Filed at 1:17 pm under by dcobranchi

    Some nannies child advocates would like to see the end of Pizza Hut’s BookIt program.

    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.

    Kids like pizza, so it’s actually a decent incentive program. And, as kid-friendly food goes, it’s reasonably healthy fare. I doubt any kid is going to develop life-long eating problems because she earns a Personal Pan Pizza a couple times a year.

    8 Responses to “BOOK IT, DANO”

    Comment by
    March 3rd, 2007
    at 2:41 pm

    I will say that my objection to Book It and Accelerated Reader Points Program and the like is that it assumes behavior modification is needed to reward children for reading. Reading is its own reward. Once these types of incentive programs lose their initial thrill, the effect wanes except with the children who most excel – and perhaps they are children most susceptible to such conditioning. At our house, the children, even the very youngest, read because it feels good, because they want to find the answer to something, because they want to learn, because Stories enrich Life. What’s pizza got to do with it?

    Comment by
    March 3rd, 2007
    at 3:38 pm

    Personally, I like Book It because we normally can’t afford to go out and buy pizza, so it allows me to do something special (read: what “normal” people do) with the kids for free. They would read anyway.

    Our school district does not allow any corporate “branding” in the schools, so they don’t do Book It, but homeschoolers are eligible to participate, so we do.

    Comment by
    March 3rd, 2007
    at 5:51 pm

    Susan Linn needs to get a grip.

    That is one small pizza a month – IF – the child reaches his reading goal.

    We can’t afford to eat out much so it is a real treat for us to go into Pizza Hut and sit down and share a meal.

    Why doesn’t she go get a life instead of inserting her nose into other people’s lives.

    I don’t need her advice.

    Comment by
    CS in NV
    March 3rd, 2007
    at 6:50 pm

    we don’t usually do the BookIt thing but there are rewards at the Library Summer bookclubs. (I still remember winning the prize for reading the most books one summer. I got my very own copy of Charlotte’s Web)

    And some of those rewards are for ice cream etc.

    Comment by
    March 3rd, 2007
    at 9:55 pm

    If they are going to give away pizza for reading they could at least pick a good pizza place 😉

    Comment by
    March 3rd, 2007
    at 10:55 pm

    The other day on my way to work, I saw a teenager standing out on the streetcorner holding a cardboard sign: “Will read for pizza.”

    Comment by
    March 4th, 2007
    at 9:15 am

    It’s a good thing they *don’t* allow adults to participate – I’d own the chain.


    Comment by
    March 5th, 2007
    at 6:26 pm

    I’ve never understood the opposition to reward programs. (Yes, I’ve read his book.)

    When I was a kid, I went for any reward that I could get for things I enjoyed, and ignored the rest. I went to the library Summer Reading Picnic every year. I would’ve read the books anyway (and was over the goal by mid-July), but heck, why not get a reward for it?

    My kids never did Book It, though. We don’t eat “factory pizza”.