Pizza Hut’s Rewards for Young Readers Draws Concerns

According to a report from SignonSanDiego.com, “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.”

The article stated: “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 article, Linn was quoted as saying, “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.”
This week, Linn’s group asked parents to end their schools’ involvement in the long-standing program, the report said.
The article said, “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.”
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