On the CNN Web site, this morning March 3, 2007, was the headline
Critics denounce Pizza Hut reading program
about how some people thought that rewarding kids for "reading" with pizzas was a bad thing.
The Pizza Hut "Book It" gives free pizzas to about 22 million kids who have read books. As the article notes:
Now, my guess is that we have a pretty good consensus that education, in general, and reading, in particular, are "problems" that need to be addressed. The world of kids growing up is very complex with a multitude of social and physical "distractions" that make learning in school less effective than it needs to be.
So, rather than address the very, very, very hard problem of educating kids, the people at:
Since they seem to academics out of Harvard University, I would have expected a considered study of the "effectiveness" of the program and then advocating one way or the other. This should also come with a comparison to other programs that might be more (or less) effective.
But, no, they seem to be doing commercial exploitation of children for the PR benefit of their organization by simply criticizing the program with no suggestions for alternative. I wouldn't be surprised that these are the same people who criticize "Harry Potter" for promoting "magic".
It is great that these people want to be active in solving problems, but it seems as if they are joisting with a windmill while the kids wander off into drugs and alcohol.