Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Killjoy Was Here

'A' students may get free doughnuts

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Krispy Kreme is offering to reward students with a doughnut for every A on their report card, but the plan seems a little flaky to some officials trying to fight childhood obesity.

Under one promotion, Krispy Kreme stores will give Palm Beach County students in kindergarten through sixth grade a free doughnut for good grades. Another program has students decorate posters of doughnuts with "success sprinkles" when children meet goals. The posters can be turned in for doughnuts.

Okay, on the face of it, as sensitized as we all have become to the idea that a) it's wrong to reward kids for good grades because it places undue pressure on the other kids' self esteem who don't make good grades, b) it's wrong to eat anything with sugar, c) it's wrong to accept corporate largesse disguised as goodwill, and d) The Children--in the end, surely a little leeway is still possible in this country without having to worry about 'What Will the Experts Say!?' Well, apparently not.

"Krispy Kreme doughnuts are very good, especially when the 'hot' lights are on, but I can't say that there's anything healthy about them," school board member Debra Robinson said Tuesday. "Can't we find something else? I mean, a doughnut?"

Typical. 'Oh, they're sooooo good--but yooooou can't have one, because I say so.' Nyahh. ::sticks out tongue:: Seems to me that someone is awfully aware of the goodness of the doughnuts, yet doesn't want to share. Hmm. Maybe that should go on her permanent record. It's like getting a stern lecture from Bill Clinton on the sanctity of marriage.

And what's this "we" business, Ms. Robinson? YOU aren't the one supplying the goods, a private company is trying to do something nice for your kids. How often do report cards come out--once every nine weeks? And you're gonna sit there and make a kid feel bad about a few doughnuts every nine weeks? Sure, they [doughnuts, not kids] aren't up there in the healthy category with shredded wheat, and kids DO need to understand the benefits of good nutrition. But I also know that before the idea of an "obesity epidemic" became the newest media crisis, back in the halcyon days when every American was the picture of perfect health, the idea of a kid getting a free doughnut or two for bringing home a good report card would have been seen as a thoughtful gesture.

[It's a little unclear from the report that there are two different programs, but a little Googling here, and here, and here, and here (among a bunch of others) show that with the "A+ Program," each kid can get a doughnut per A, up to a maximum of six. The program with the poster and stickers is called the "Stick With It Kids" program, and the box of 24 doughnuts goes to the whole classroom. These programs aren't new, and are in other states other than just Florida. Thanks, professional media!]

Krispy Kreme doesn't track how many schools are participating. Principals decide whether to allow the doughnut posters or any other business partnership, a school district spokeswoman said.

Jackie Zepeda, Krispy Kreme spokeswoman, said she was unaware of any concern about the doughnut giveaway in light of child obesity, which has been declared an epidemic by the National Institutes of Health.

How cruel and heartless and insensitive and ill-informed! Although it could be that the spokeswoman was unaware that giving away doughnuts is like putting a gun to a kid's head. Thankfully, we have experts to tell us better.

The promotion comes as 50 schools in Palm Beach and Broward counties won a grant to begin a $1.4 million program to promote a healthier lifestyle with nutrition and exercise programs. The district is also offering healthier school lunch menus.

Well, bully for them. Kids need healthy food--no one is saying they don't, nor that they don't need to practice good nutrition at home. But surely there are more important things going on in Palm Beach and Broward that require more attention than trying to be everyone's scold. Teaching kids to read and write would probably be higher on my list.

But that's just me.

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