Friday, December 7, 2007

We're teaching the lesson young.....

"This is a local program in Seminole County FL, that promotes academic excellence and rewards academic achievement," stated William Whitman.

The rewards offer that is printed on report card envelopes in nine Central Florida counties, offers a free Happy Meal to students with good grades, behavior or attendence. It replaces a program that was sponsered by Pizza Hut for ten years. The school district stated that it isn't advertising in their public schools and they gain nothing more that McDonald's paying the $1,700 for the envelopes and printing.

The promotion offers a free Happy Meal to any student that has no more than two absences, no bad marks in behavior or has all A's and B's on their report card. Susan Pagan stated that she was apalled at that offer on her fourth grade daughters report card and questioned the school district about it. She felt that she was being made to be the "bad guy" by refusing to give her daughter the free meal she qualified for. Pagan rarely takes her daughter to fast-food restaurants and doesn't like the school encouraging her to do so.

Objections have also now been raised that the envelopes are promoting fast food while families and others are trying to battle a serious rise in childhood obesity. Many school systems are taking steps to offer much healthier school lunches and teaching children how to make better choices about the food they eat.

There have been other food offers for free grades slipped in with good report cards in the past in some Orange County schools which include free ice cream and coupons for Ale House and Steak 'n Shake. Coupons for Aloma Bowling and offers from banks that have been linked to report cards or good grades seems to be better choices than free fast-food.

What I do wonder though, why the outcry of it being a fast-food meal the children are being rewarded with? Why not an outcry over the lesson it is teaching children at such a young age? There was a time when getting good grades was worth just knowing that you had achieved, received verbal praise for doing what was expected of you and in rare occasions, you may have received some reward from your parents. It seems that the "new" system includes tying an actual reward to any kind of achievement and possibly teaching children that the effort to do well should only be tied to gaining that reward...........not tied to the satisfaction of doing well for themselves.