Time For Kids?

I received two envelopes in the mail — and boy was I shocked — one was from my granddaughter, the other was from my grandson. I was so excited to see their names on the envelopes that I couldn’t wait to open them. I was a little apprehensive, when I saw just how thick that envelope was.

It was the strangest thing…

Inside the children had written the name of their school (on the line provided for them). It was address to me – the child had written my name and address, then on the opposing side of the coupon looking thing was written…

Dear __________
(on the line "Grandma" had been hand written),

Our school can receive FREE subscriptions to a really fun and interesting magazine that my teacher will use with us in class to help us learn more about the world. It’s called TIME For Kids. You help me reach my goal simply by buying or renewing a magazine subscription for yourself.

Please look at the enclosed list (with savings up to 80%!) and pick your favorite. You can even order a magazine as a gift. Thanks for helping… I can’t wait to start reading TIME For Kids!

From, _________________
(the child wrote their name on the line)

P.S. __________________
(hand written – "Please help my school")

The opposite side of the envelope-sized card was an order form.

Included also was a brochure from TIME For Kids of magazine listings that claimed to offer magazines at a substantial savings, however, the prices appeared to be inflated, then marked down to regular prices. Along with the magazine listing I found a supplemental insert, return envelope, folded one sheet explanation entitled, "a friend is thinking of you…"

Lastly, I found a post card that totally took me by surprise. (Maybe I’m overly sensitive but this upset me.) The card read…

"I’m happy to support you and the special project you are working toward. I’m proud of who you are!"

TIME For Kids

Now, I’m certain someone felt that this was a good idea. What friend or family member wouldn’t appreciate a little help with sending a post card? Frankly, I don’t need a school (or TIME For Kids) to tell my grandchildren "I’m proud of who you are!" I find this demeaning and frankly, insulting.

What are they teaching these young students — certainly not how to write a cordial letter? They could have used this opportunity to get the children to actually write a letter. A skill these children might put to use at some point in their lives. Instead, they are teaching our children to beg.

Now of course because I refuse to bend to the will of a school, set on taking advantage of the friends and relatives of the children in their charge, I’m the bad guy. I really don’t appreciate being put on the spot like this. How do you explain to a child that this is called extortion and you refuse to participate in such schemes?

Oh, and don’t get me started on TIME For Kids. What a terrific racket for them. Not only does the school "earn" "free" copies of TIME For Kids, they push over-priced magazines to increase their profit margin on loving family members. Do they really expect us to buy what they are selling? These magazines are anything but free. I would have preferred to purchase a subscription for the kids. Teachers ordering at least 10-copies pay only $4.30 per student, which includes shipping and handling.

At home subscriptions cost $29.95 each and doesn’t include teaching guides, supplemental materials or any free gifts. Ouch, they certainly aren’t looking to break into the homeschool market with this kind of offer.

I’m almost tempted to purchase a subscription, of TIME For Kids, not for my son’s benefit, but just to see what kind of balderdash they are subjecting publicly schooled children to.

I believe instead, I’ll sit down and write my grandchildren each a letter and encourage them to write back, putting the skills I hope they are learning in school to good use by writing me an actual letter in return. Just what are they teaching these children in school? It makes one wonder.

  • Mark says:

    Public schools are increasingly forming partnerships with corporations and handing over the responsibility for educating our children to private interest. The danger of this was never clearer to me than when my son brought home the January 18, 2008 edition of Time for Kids, a subsidiary of TIME INC. The front page featured each of the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates except Ron Paul. They even included Fred Thompson! This current events magazine published especially for elementary school age children is distributed to nearly all schools in Broward County and to most of the schools across the country. My son is actually tested on the contents of the magazine each and every week – this saves the teachers from having to teach social studies. Presumably, the reason the schools distribute the mini-mag is so that our children learn about current events. The way I see it, there are two possible explanations for the failure to include Ron Paul, the candidate who raised more money than all Republican candidates in the 4th quarter of 2007 and currently has 42 delegates. One possibility is that TIME INC intentionally excluded Ron Paul as part of the wide-spread media blackout of him. The schools that distribute the magazines are either willing or unwitting participants who have failed to educate the kids about the candidates in the race this year. The other possibility is that it was a simple oversight. If that is the case, then surely TIME FOR KIDS will publish a simple correction because neither the company nor the schools would want the children to have been misled about the realities of the ongoing elections, especially since Thompson and Guiliani have long since dropped out of the race. If you ever read TIME magazine, contact the publishers and ask them why Ron Paul was excluded. If your child was given this magazine, call the school and ask them what they have done about this seemingly obvious censorship. http://broward-county.blogspot.com/2008/02/time-for-kids-guilty-of-ron-paul.html