Enticing kids to read - Pizza

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Allan-Matlem, Mar 7, 2007.

  1. Allan-Matlem

    Allan-Matlem Active Member



    It seems that there are kids who have benefitted from the program and after having being enticed into reading , the intrinsic reward has been strong enough to develop a love for reading.
    Unfortunately the short term and long terms results of a program like this are very different. One of my favourite authors - Alfie Kohn gets a mention.
    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.”

    I loved this quote - not AK
    “I don’t want to see kids gorging pizzas,” he said. “But the positive effects outweigh other effects (obesity )

  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh I think this is just sour grapes.

    I remember my boys getting the pizza certificates when they were in school for reading the books. I thought it was a great way to promote reading. I have one kid who is an avid reader and one who will read sometimes and one who thinks reading is akin to having his skin peeled off while awake.

    I wish they were all avid readers but they arent. I am a huge reader and consider it one of lifes true enjoyments. The boys grew up seeing me constantly with a book in my hands. I always read to them when they were small.

    Pizza isnt going to kill them. We took them for their personal pan pizzas maybe once a month as they got the coupons...I really cant remember how often they got them.

    In SC today they have a program where students get Limo rides and lunch out for reading. I think that is cool too. I think that is on the accelerated reading program but Im not entirely sure because we dont live there and only see the commercials.

    My theory is that if you teach a child to read, the child can learn anything else in his lifetime. If he cant read, then he is sunk.
  3. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    my kids did the Book It program back a long time ago. we got pizza hut certificates. however neither son is a reader/ even though I am an avid reader.

    the program simply seemed tomake parents spend more money at pizza hut because if we took them there for their free personal pan pizza, we had to buy food also..lol
  4. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Personally I think it's a big stink being made over nothing. Kids read books and get a pizza. Kids who love books would have read them anyway. Kids who wouldn't have read them might have been motivated due to the pizza. A personal pan pizza and a soda four times a year isn't my idea of child gluttony.

    My kids love BookIt. I often pick them up and take them to Pizza Hut and have lunch with them one on one. Or every once in a while my husband will pick up their pizza and eat with them at school.

    If they're going to ban BookIt then they might as well put a stop to all of the summer library reading programs that are being conducted all over the country as well. My kids (gasp!) get coupons for things like ice cream cones, a donut, and a personal pizza from another pizza place in addition to some for activities in the community. I don't care what the motivator is--they usually get some benefit from the reading they did and we get some free fun family times together as a result.
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My boys were always so active in sports that we dropped by pizza hut on our way home and picked up the pizzas for dinner. It simply wasnt a big deal and we didnt have much money. Im sure they thought of those pizzas as a huge treat.
  6. helpmehelphim

    helpmehelphim New Member

    My kids did great with- AR. They went to parties and such (one always did and the other sometimes did). The thing I didn't appreciate about AR was that both my kids always tested quite highly on the beginning star test. And then that pidgeon-holed (can I use that term that way) them so that they couldn't read what they wanted to read if they were to meet their AR goals. So, one son loved the Redwall books but couldn't read them because they were under 6 (and there are a ton of them). I ended up saying "forget it" with the AR goal for him and when he balked about the party, I took him to dinner after his reading. I didn't have a problem with- that...there are ages where "fairness" seems to be the deal and I wanted them to read so....I used the system.

    That same son is now reading Dune and he's in the 6th grade. His AR grade took a hit in school grading but his reading hasn't suffered at all...it's blossomed. Not because of AR, dinners or the like but I think because he read what he liked to read. If he hadn't liked to read then he wouldn't have read... but he wasn't going to miss out on those rewards and ya know, who can blame him?
  7. jannie

    jannie trying to survive....

    My child used to read for the pizza...we did away with the program and now they earn paper sneakers that they color in and hang them around the classroom..

    He read more when he earned pizza....

    I understand your point and agree, but if you make good choices throughout the week, a once a month pizza is not going to hurt you.

    I wish my child would love reading..it is now a major battle for both of my kids and i love reading.
  8. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    while I agree that programs like this have a place...

    Do NOT get me started on Accelerated Reader. Both my guys have always read way above grade level (NL was reading before he started kindergarten). The books available to read didn't interest them at all, and they wouldn't take the tests so they could move up to books that may have (and don't get me started on R.L.Stine, either).
    I finally told the teacher in 3rd grade that NL would not be participating. He had already read LOTR, I told her to question him on it.
  9. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I've been using book-it in my classroom for years. I have very few students who actually do it but the ones that do enjoy getting their personal pan pizza. I really don't have a problem with this program. We also did one one year where kids could earn tickets to Great America.
  10. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    It's hard for me to get worked up about 4 personal pan pizzas in a year when tons of candy is being handed out regularly in American schools as rewards for behavior or meeting. My daughter's teacher is one of the best I could ask for and she uses a small handful of Skittles from her Skittle machine. Daughter loves it but I don't because she has deep crevices in her teeth.
  11. kris

    kris New Member

    we did this too when the kids were in school. my kids would save their pizza certificates until they could take mom to lunch/dinner.

    not all rewards are a bad thing. my son was not an avid reader back then so he did read to eat lol. AR was a nightmare because we could never find books that were geared at their actual reading level....tho it gets easier when they hit HS. they test them in the beginning of the year & they can read above level if they want.

  12. miche

    miche New Member

    I do Book-It with my 6th graders. The kids who like to read will read a little extra if they want the pizza. Those kids who don't like read don't care if they get pizza or not -- they are not going to start to "love" reading just for a pizza.

    About 20% of my kids earn Book It each month. It's just a personal pan pizza -- if a parent doesn't want their kid to eat pizza then they don't have to use the coupon.

    I agree -- pizza once a month isn't going to kill anybody!
  13. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    difficult child 2 has the bookit in his little preschool already. They only do it for 2 months of the year, tho. He loves to read, anyway, but you know what? The whole family pitches in more to read to him when its bookit time. And last year, he brought home the coupons and was so proud, and then he promptly forgot all about them and we never even got to use them.

    easy child 2 gets a Six Flags ticket for reading, and she always reads just enough toddler books to get the ticket, but the last 3 years, her mom has held onto the ticket and she's not gotten to use it. I kept the ticket this year and plan to take her. She needs all the reading help she can get.

    What gets my goat about these programs, tho, is the amount of money the rest of the family has to spend so the kids can use their rewards. Our book-it coupons won't let us carry-out the pizzas. And theme park tickets are EXPENSIVE. A discount for the rest of the clan, too, would be nice, cause I'm sure there's a lot out there who just can't afford to take their kids to use the reward coupons.
  14. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    They do let us carry out the pizzas which makes it nice since we can deliver it to school for lunch.
  15. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    difficult child has done BookIt a couple times in the past. One twist was last year in his resource room for LA. They had to read and then every Tuesday, they did a short book report on a piece of paper shaped like a slice of pizza. They colored it as well.

    They presented their report on Tuesday and then the teacher hung them up. She told the kids that once they had pizza slices all the way around they room, they would have a pizza slumber party! So one day the slices met! The kids brought in their pjs, pillows and blankets and had pizza for lunch then settled down for an hour of stories read aloud by the teacher and some parents with the lights out, the blinds closed, and flashlights all around. It was a great!

    So, motivation is just that. Kids that love to read will read anyway and kids that don't like to read are motivated to do so. I don't see the big deal. I have used many "carrots" when I deem it necessary.

  16. Janna

    Janna New Member

    Never heard of it. My kids did the 100 Book Challenge, and got ribbons for an award when they got so high.

    Dylan, in 2nd grade, read over 800 books. easy child, in 2nd grade, read over 400. I don't care what carrot they dangle, you get a 2nd grade kid to read 800 books, that is totally awesome.

    Pizza, ribbon or whatever.

  17. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    My kids were both avid readers and even now, at age 26, you very rarely see my son without a book in his hands! He was reading on his own long before he started kindergarten. And it actually became more of a problem than a blessing when he was very young, because of the backwards ideas at his school! Seemed like we were fighting them every step of the way!

    I am firmly convinced that to hook them on reading, you have to get them very, very young. You read to them from the time they are babies, even if you think they're too young to understand! When they are learning to read, give them books they really enjoy reading, books that interest them and keep them captivated! We found that a lot of the things they were given to read at school were either extremely boring or just plain stupid! In first grade, he refused to participate in his reading group because he said they were "baby books". And their elementary school Librarian had a strict rule that they could only check out books at their own grade level - a couple of shelves for each grade. So he didn't check out books at school! At home he was reading (very carefully selected) Stephen King short stories - "See Spot Run" held no interest for him.

    He was in his glory when we got him a card for the public library and let him have free rein (within reason, of course)! He'd come home grinning every week, with a big stack of books, whatever had caught his attention. Some were kids' fiction, but others were on astronomy, zoology, Ancient Egypt, whatever interested him. Even if some of them were technically over his head, he still enjoyed them and learned from them. And he acquired (hopefully) a lifelong love for books and the habit of reading for pleasure. He works nights now and watches very little TV, but he still has that book in his hand!
  18. Allan-Matlem

    Allan-Matlem Active Member


    So what is the alternative ?

    part of the approach examines collaborative learning
    Collaborative Learning takes on many shapes, yet most group activities share a set of characteristics that correspond with the six C?s of motivation: choice, control, challenge, constructive comprehension, collaboration, and consequences (Paris & Turner, 1994). The best collaborative learning situations are open-ended in nature. This allows for choice, shared control, challenge, constructive comprehension, and an increased sense of responsibility for consequences and learner outcomes

  19. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Personally I think there is value to having variety in instructional programming such as BookIt provides. Students work for grades day in and day out--the added incentive is a nice break from the every day Wed. night assignment of reading out loud to your parent.