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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk ZeoBandit's Avatar
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    12.13.17 @ 06:12 AM
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    Default Critics denounce Pizza Hut reading program

    You have got to be kidding me........... I loved this program growing up!

    Critics denounce Pizza Hut reading program
    POSTED: 4:51 p.m. EST, March 2, 2007
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    NEW YORK (AP) -- You've read the book, now eat the pizza.

    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.

    Though some activists have previously questioned Book It, Linn said Friday that only after the recent upsurge of concern over child obesity and junk food did her group feel it could make headway with a formal protest campaign. She said many schools are trying to reduce students' access to soda, and contended that Book It should face similar scrutiny.

    But the program -- which has given away more than 200 million pizzas -- has deep roots and many admirers at the highest levels of politics and education. It won a citation in 1988 from President Reagan, and its advisory board includes representatives of prominent education groups, including teachers unions and the American Library Association.

    "We're really proud of the program," said Leslie Tubbs, its director for the past five years. "We get hundreds of e-mails from alumni who praise it and say it helped them get started with reading."

    Dallas-based Pizza Hut says Book It is the nation's largest reading motivation program -- conducted annually in about 925,000 elementary school classrooms from October 1 through March 31. A two-month program is offered for preschoolers.

    Participating teachers set a monthly reading goal for each student; those who meet the goal get a certificate they can redeem at Pizza Hut for a free Personal Pan Pizza. Families often accompany the winners, turning the event into a celebration that can boost business for the restaurant.

    Teachers find the program an enjoyable way to build interest in reading, Tubbs said. "We're helping them to do their jobs," she said.

    At Strafford Elementary School in Strafford, Missouri, the roughly 500 students collectively read 30,000 books a year with Book It's help, said principal Lucille Cogdill.

    "I don't have any negative things at all to say about it," Cogdill said. "I know there's concern about obesity, but Book It is not causing it, and the schools aren't causing it."

    Chris Carney, principal at Bennett Elementary School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, also is a Book It fan, saying it encourages family togetherness and provides a tool for persuading children to try books instead of video games.

    "I don't want to see kids gorging pizzas," he said. "But the positive effects outweigh other effects."

    Among those campaigning against Book It is Alfie Kohn, an author whose 11 books on education and parenting include "Punished By Rewards, which questions the value of incentive programs.

    "The more kids see books as a way to get pizza or some other prize, the less interest they'll have in reading itself," Kohn, a former teacher, said in a telephone interview. "They tend to choose easier books to get through faster."

    Another critic of Book It and the broader phenomenon of corporate incursions into schools is Alex Molnar, director of the Commercialism in Education Research Unit at Arizona State University.

    He described Book It as a "dreadful program" that puts pressure on parents to celebrate with their reward-winning children at Pizza Huts.

    "This is corporate America using the schools as a crow bar to get inside the front doors of students' homes," he said. "It's very hard for children whose parents who don't want to engage in this to not feel ostracized."

    Molnar acknowledged that Book It is well-regarded by many educators and politicians, but said it might be reevaluated in light of rising concerns about child obesity.

    "To the extent that this program is correctly identified as part of the problem, then there's a chance of reducing its scope," he said.
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  2. #2
    Atomic Punk Viking's Avatar
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    11.02.17 @ 09:45 PM
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    I guess they would rather have a bunch of skinny kids running around that can't read.
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  3. #3
    Good Enough VivaVH's Avatar
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    04.02.15 @ 09:23 AM
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    Speaking from a personal perspective, I did Book-It in second grade and it didn't make me want to read more in my later years. Sorry kids, but come college, ya don't get a free pizza every time ya read five chapters of your econ book, which is almost every night.

    Either you like reading or you don't.
    If it's BROWN, flush it DOWN.

    GO STEELERS!

  4. #4
    Atomic Punk BREW CREW's Avatar
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    08.27.17 @ 09:39 AM
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    I wonder if these so called critics of the Book It program ever needed to have a bake sale to raise a little money for an "after-work get-together"?

    I don't see anything wrong with Pizza Huts Book It. Kids are fat and/or can't read better because of poor parenting. Not because of reading for pizza's.
    Just go for it!

  5. #5
    Baluchitherium hatchetforce's Avatar
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    11.27.15 @ 03:34 PM
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    pizza is fun-da-mental

    . . . . .
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  6. #6
    Good Enough darthadv's Avatar
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    01.05.12 @ 09:51 PM
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    those people need to get a grip... positive reinforcement of free pizza ONCE a month is ok...

    kids are not getting fat because they eat a junk food once a month, they get fat when they don't eat junk food in moderation... and the kids can't afford to buy the junk food if you don't buy it for them... treating them to a slice of a pizza once a month is not going to be the dealbreaker...

  7. #7
    Sinner's Swing! graeme's Avatar
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    11.19.17 @ 09:41 AM
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    It's just sad that any incentive at all is required to get kids reading in the first place.

    The reality is that most people would rather watch the movie than the book. It requires no effort, takes only a couple of hours and you get someone else to do all your imaginings for you.

    Lazy bastards. I hope these kids enjoy the world they accept and I'm glad I'll be dead when books become obselete.

    As for the junk food angle? It's pretty common knowledge that junk food contains basically addictive, mood altering chemicals. Until this issue is addressed there is little that can be done with the issue of child obesity.

    I am an idiot. I smoke cigarettes. My packet tells me, via very obvious warnings, that I am an idiot.

    This is the junk food warning I want to see on every wrapper:

    "Overeating of this product will make you a fat wanker."

    Let's just hope that the kids will actually be able to read it.
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  8. #8
    Romeo Delight Schools's Avatar
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    What a crock. There isn't anything wrong with a little positive reinforcement. It seems like the primary criticism is the corporate angle. Heaven forbid anyone make a buck in this country. Then to top it off, they go for the old "we're doing it for the kids" angle by trying to tie it into childhood obesity. If there is any single food product making kids fat it is pop sweetened with high fructose corn syrup instead of real sugar. The human body just doesn't know what to do with that crap so it gets stored as fat. It seems like kids today drink more Mountain Dew and exercise less than they did when I was a kid. A generalization to be sure, but it doesn't seem too far off the mark. Is pizza really junk food anyway? Depending on what you have put on it, you can get all four food groups in one pizza. All in moderation just like anything else.
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  9. #9
    Eruption
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    12.13.17 @ 09:02 AM
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    Have Pizza Hut dole out a pizza if a kid runs a mile or does some situps.

  10. #10
    Hang 'Em High Wray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by graeme View Post
    It's just sad that any incentive at all is required to get kids reading in the first place.
    Not really. They are kids.

  11. #11
    Atomic Punk jrk5150's Avatar
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    I'd be more interested in studies that show whether or not it works.

    Alex Molnar is a dreadful example of someone in academia if he can't come up with something more than his lame ass opinion about whether it's right or wrong. And Susan Linn is everything wrong with what should be good - activists without data is what her organization should be called.

    How bout they get off their own fat asses and do the research - find out whether this or any similar programs WORK, and find out if they actually cause an increase in the consumption of pizza. REAL researchers should be able to do this with their eyes closed.

    I am SO sick of talking heads spouting bullshit without anything to back it up. It's not only annoying, it's insulting. And depressing, since so many buy it without actually thinking critically about what they're reading. Guess they came up a few pizzas short in their youth.

  12. #12
    Baluchitherium steve mcqueen's Avatar
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    Your child reads a book.....and them you spend quality time with them discussing it over a pizza.....

    Shame on you.......where the hell is Child Protective Service when you need them.

  13. #13
    Baluchitherium loveevhsince79's Avatar
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    LOL, I love it. The best a Harvard psychologist has to do with her time is to point a finger at a company which is at least trying to give back to the community and children for doing something positive such as reading a book. There are a ton of companies who do nothing but I guess that would be a better alternative because, gasp, this particular company sells pizzas. What a crock. I would love for someone to take a poll to see what percentage of families DO NOT eat pizza once a month. I would bet it is a very small amount.

    As with everything that children eat, it's about balance. I have seen first hand what happens when kids are deprived of certain foods because my sister did it. Her girls were not allowed ANY chocolate and the outcome has been that once they were out of the house, they couldn't get enough it.

    I try to keep that in mind and that many nutritionist says the best attitude is that there is no such thing as bad food but that certain foods should only be enjoyed in small amounts. If you make anything forbidden, it becomes even more enticing.

  14. #14
    Good Enough vcooper3's Avatar
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    This is a lame debate by these so-called critics. Book-it was a very popular program when I was in grade school. It was an incentive for kids to read more books because a majoirity of kids love pizza. Anything that encourages kids to read is a positive. Getting free apples at the supermarked isn't going to drive more kids to read.

  15. #15
    Niners Fan! SactoFan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by graeme View Post
    It's just sad that any incentive at all is required to get kids reading in the first place.
    You do want intrinsic motivation to start early, but a free pizza is a nice treat once in awhile...especially if is earned...
    Can't stop...addicted to the shindig...

 

 

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