To Book It or Not To Book It?

I can’t help it. I’ve been skeptical ever since I heard Alfie Kohn, author of Punished by Rewards, say that the main result of Pizza Hut’s Book It program is a bunch of fat kids who don’t like to read.

Intrinsic or extrinsic motivation? It’s true that reading more builds reading skills and stamina, which in turn improves reading ability. But does the pizza reward for reading really encourage reading for its own sake? I doubt it. I sincerely doubt it.

But today I investigated their expanded website to see what I can offer my students’ parents (a.k.a. learning coaches). There is a lot of wisdom, and a lot of it is in vocabulary many parents can understand.

So… how do I share this with “my” families? That is, how do I share this resource with those parents with whom I teach?  If I’m honest with myself (which isn’t always the best policy, really), I’m actually asking this: How do I share this resource with families without giving in to marketing and handing out little pizza certificates? 

Sigh. It’s such a complicated world.

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5 thoughts on “To Book It or Not To Book It?

  1. Any way to have your own pizza party? Room parents can get together with food assignments, limit number of slices, have veggies and milk instead of cookies and soda/punch (juice is high in sugar too).

    It has been too long since I did the book it program but then both my kids like to read. Good luck!

    Will you let us know what you decided?

    • Gina, I teach online, so the classroom party doesn’t work for my kiddos. They are spread all over the state of Wisconsin – from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River and many waterways in between.

  2. 1. I am not a fan of Alfie Kohn.
    2. His contempt is obvious by his slang use of “fat kids”.
    3. You are not responsible for your children’s eating habits and/or obesity.
    4. Participation by parents is not mandatory.
    5. You need to prioritize your primary and secondary goal.
    6. primary is reading.

    I was introduced to the organ because I went to my sisters Senion Organ recital at her college. I went to my older brothers graduation at Severence Hall in Cleveland when their large organ was used. Two “random” experiences made a serious impact on my life.

    Let them have Pizza.

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