The Nanny State Ruins Everything
School carnivals are turning cake walks into book walks, huh? Brilliant. I swear there's a conspiracy among liberal educators to make children despise books. I say this as a parent whose children who were required to list all the books they read during the week - titles, authors, and the number of pages read, per school policy. If they hit the class goal for the month, they were given a coupon for a free personal pan pizza (probably verboten, now being too unhealthy.) They made reading turn into a tedious chore, but it's a pretty standard elementary school policy designed to get kids reading.
I read books as a child because they transported me to a whole new world - reading for me was an entertaining form of amusement in and of itself. I didn't need to have the promise of free pizza to get me to pick up a book. The policy always rubbed me the wrong way because the unspoken message seemed to be that reading is such a wretched and boring pastime - you need to bribe kids to do it.
My kids have developed a love of reading because I read to them all the books I loved as a child - and new ones too - like the Harry Potter books.
When the school book fair came around, my kids always wanted money for books, or sometimes the novelty items that were also for sale. The Nanny State will want to ban those, too - if it hasn't already. Sometimes the kids passed over the books and just wanted the novelties. We can't have that.
The cake walk at our school carnival was always the most popular activity. 10-15 years ago, you could even bake your own cake to donate to the cakewalk (even with the horrifying possibility of peanut oil in the ingredients.) At some point, homemade baked goods were banned at school parties and events because of aforementioned peanut threat. The cakes and cookies had to come from the grocery store bakery with the ingredients prominently listed.
But now the Nanny State says - ix-nay on the ake-cays even at the school carnival. So now some schools have opted for all books all the time and not even bakery-made cakes.
Pathetic is right.