Here’s a campaign it’s easy to get behind, “Tell Scholastic: Put the Book Back in Book Clubs.”
It’s sponsored by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood http://www.commercialexploitation.org/ , which noticed that a whole lot of the items for sale through those little Scholastic book club flyers were either NOT books, or were books that come with little doodads like jewelry or toys. Let’s call them “Happy Meal” books.
Scholastic enjoys a very privileged position in childhood in that it is allowed to advertise in the schools, via those flyers. You don’t see Toys R Us handing out catalogs during reading workshop, and yet the two companies are selling a lot of the same stuff. Scholastic’s “book club” items include the M&M’s Kart Racing Wii video game, a Princess Room Alarm, a Monopoly SpongeBob SquarePants computer game and that great educational tool: Lip gloss.
This is not to mention a Hannah Montana bracelet.
Scholastic should be flush with the profits from Harry Potter, for God’s sake. Using the schools to sell our kids on dreck like an M&M Wii game is like selling pina coladas in the cafeteria instead of milk.
Although I guess if schools did that, they might have a lot more parent volunteers at lunch.
Here’s the campaign’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Campaign-for-a-Commercial-Free-Childhood/43207060421