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Since 1985, that's been the gist of Pizza Hut's Book It, an incentive program used by 50,000 schools nationwide to reward young readers with free pizzas. The program is now under attack by child-development experts who say it promotes bad eating habits and turns teachers into corporate promoters.
Book It, which reaches about 22 million children a year, "epitomizes everything that's wrong with corporate-sponsored programs in school," said Susan Linn, a Harvard psychologist and co-founder of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood.
"In the name of education, it promotes junk food consumption to a captive audience ... and undermines parents by positioning family visits to Pizza Hut as an integral component of raising literate children," Linn said.
This week, Linn's organization called on parents to end their schools' participation in the long-standing program.