Bring a good report card home, get a free Happy Meal

When I was in elementary school, my parents would reward a good report card with cute little accessories (think Hello Kitty headbands) and new school...

When I was in elementary school, my parents would reward a good report card with cute little accessories (think Hello Kitty headbands) and new school supplies (I was so OCD that I always wanted fresh, clean erasers and notebooks. And yes, much hasn’t changed.)

The reward system still stands today, but the rewards themselves have gone from new notebooks to french fries and chicken nuggets.

According to the New York Times, McDonald’s restaurants in Seminole County, FL, along with the Seminole County School Board have made an agreement that would reward students with good grades and outstanding attendance during the 2007-2008 school year with a put-a-smile-on-your-face Happy Meal.

For A’s and B’s in academic subjects, and two or fewer absences from school, students can now go redeem their “food prize” Happy Meal from the local McDonald’s eatery.

This new “report card incentive,” is not sitting well with some parents however, with concerns about childhood obesity calling the program into question.

“Turning report cards into ads for McDonald’s undermines parents’ efforts to encourage healthy eating,” said Susan Linn, director of an advocacy organization in Boston, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood.

“It’s a terribly troubling trend,” Ms. Linn said, because “it really, clearly links doing well in school with getting a Happy Meal.”

What are your thoughts? Does the ‘Bring home good grades, get a free Happy Meal’ program seem like a good one?

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