After ripping on McDonald's yesterday, I'm here to admit that I'm a complete hypocrite.
Ethically, I think McDonald's reach into schools is wrong. Ronald McDonald visits, shows and reading programs all introduce very young children to the "wonders" of McDonald's. And I have a problem with that because while my children (occasionally) eat McDonald's, bringing the restaurant into the school makes it that much harder for parents who would prefer to keep their kids Mickey D and fast food-free. Heck, it makes it harder for those of us who wish to limit our McDonald's consumption to sometimes, special treats.
That said....the McDonald's reading records that my sons received at daycare earlier this week are working wonders. Boy #3, age 6, has started learning how to read and is really getting it.
Boy #2, age 8, who has previously shown very little interest in reading, has decided to get with the program also. Last night, after his bath and all by himself, he came downstairs and plowed through 10 easy readers. Then he came up to show me what he'd done. I'm not sure what's motivating him more: the fact that his little brother is learning to read or the McDonald's Happy Meal. Either way, I'll take it.
So yes -- I am selling out my convictions. While I'm morally opposed to McDonald's interference in education, I will show up at McDonald's tomorrow with two readers and two certificates good for two Happy Meals.
And you know what? If daycare gives me more certificates, I might even do it again.
Quick note: Got a kid who loves construction? If you do, be sure to swing by Gina Chen's Family Life blog. (She featured my blog back in April.) Enter her contest and you could win 4 construction books.