Monday, May 7, 2012

Part 3. Corporate Sponsorship

Taken From
Within the previous post the role of corporate sponsorship among schools was discussed. Corporations give much needed money to schools for just the simple act of advertising a product. Now this to many schools is a fantastic opportunity because of the lack in funds that they receive annually. Also as stated before this uneven distribution of funds to the schools in a state is due to the flawed system of government that the United States has instilled when it comes to providing sponsorship of public schools.
To run a school takes quite a bit of money. Having a corporate sponsorship can mean the difference of having a program, or having to cut it. Now this type of corporate influence can be either small, or large. This can range from simple logos inserted in text books, or on school material to large billboards on a sporting field. Now this to me sounds great, because schools are able to get money that they normally would not have been able to otherwise. The one issue that I do have is when these sponsorship's start to influence the type of curriculum that the children are receiving. I have read that some major oil corporations that sponsor schools have in fact insisted on their product being involved in the education of the students. When students learn about nature, they are taught that one way they can appreciate it is by driving their jeep full of that certain gas out to state parks. This to me is influencing a young mind in to believing that one product is the best, and only that can be used. Also I have learned that some corporations have even used the textbooks that they provide in an effort to rebuild their reputation. Exxon did this after the Valdez oil spill. They depicted the Alaskan wildlife to be flourishing, and vibrant right after the spill in their provided textbooks. This made the reader believe that their were no long term effects to the ecosystem. In reality though this was just a way for the company to save themselves.
I also feel that even though the extra money can be beneficial to schools the negative influence upon the children can outweigh any positives. As a future Physical Education teacher it is my job to provide students with the knowledge of how to live a healthy life. The promoting of candy and soda I feel goes against this. California caught on to the idea and band corporate sponsorship within any textbooks. Later the Better Nutrition for School Children Act disallowed soda companies from providing free soft drinks in school.
If corporation do want to help out schools then they should do so in a voluntary manner. This I feel is the only way that political, or business based influence can be avoided. Their are no down sides to this, because it is a charitable donation given by the companies. The only problem is they do not receive advertisement., This type of situation I feel has to be looked at carefully before it is agreed upon. The allure of money should not outweigh the potential negatives.
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