Two things came home today in Emma's weekly yellow envelope (the communication scheme between the school and parents).
The first is a permission slip for Emma to be involved in the Think Energy curriculum, sponsored by who? (should that be "whom"?) --you guessed it, the two large energy companies in the area. And why do we have to sign a permission slip? Because each child will receive a Think Energy! Take Action Kit. The kits will be sent home. "Using the enclosed Student Guide, help your child install the energy efficient products. You will be pleased to discover how much energy and money your family will save!" Can we say "marketing for brand loyalty?"
The curriculum is part of The Energy Foundation. I googled them, and they have a very nice website, which oh-so-surprisingly lacks any information on who funds them. They have a page that lists their "partners", every major energy company, but the implication is that these are just companies that sponsor an event here and there. It's a non-profit, and I'd really like more information on whether the "curriculum" is actually "objective" as they state. Now maybe they are totally on the up-and-up. Call me suspicious, but I'm suspicious.
The second thing to come home is the notice about the annual school book fair. In all the past years, the book fair has been done by a local children's bookstore, called Wonderland Books. This year, it's being done by Scholastic. Poop. I hate Scholastic. I do buy books during the quarterly book orders, because I know it allows teachers to get books for the classroom, but I try to avoid any other business with them. Although they sell the occasional Newberry Award Winner, most of their books are simply poorly crafted spin-offs from TV and movies, and certainly not worth reading. So, yuck to this change.
I've sent an email to the Director, just on the off-chance I might get some answers.