Reading V. Eating
We've seen a spate of "eat healthy" children's books coming out on the marketplace recently. With increasing concern regarding our obese youth, book publishers are scrambling to fill an Eat Right gap. I know that at my library branch I rely, maybe a bit too heavily, on Showdown At the Food Pyramid and Rabbit Food when people come asking me for pro-veggie screeds.
The time seemed ripe, then, for the Anti-Pizza Hut "Book It" Program forces to pounce. Now in its (oh. my. God.) twenty-second year, the program encourages kids to read and get Pizza Hut coupons and treats as rewards. Healthy? Not a lick of it. But it involves kids and books. So the essential question we have to ask here is, does it do more harm than good?
The CNN.com article Critics Denounce Pizza Hut Reading Program makes some good points on the matter. It's corporate. It makes reading seem like just something you do for rewards. "They tend to choose easier books to get through faster." On the other hand, it's fun. Who doesn't like pizza? Is putting down the program too harsh? How lame would it be to have a program like this where the kids earned carrot sticks at the end?
Backing and forthing. I think we actually had this program when I was a kid. It was the first time I ever had a pan pizza. A greasy, slimy, personal pan pizza. On cold clear nights when the moon is at its fullest, I can sometimes still taste the slick oily cheese that remains congealed on the lining of my stomach. Blaugh!
Thanks to Jay at Disco Mermaids for the link.