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Updated Oct 11, 2013 - 2:02 pm

Final Word: Reading promo with McDonald's causes complaints

This is not a joke.

I wondered the other day whatever happened to the group called RIF.

I remember very vividly, the PSAs that used to air when I was little, brought to you by a group called Reading is Fundamental.

RIF would push reading to kids, and I wondered the other day if it was still around, and if so, how was it being funded.

I don't know that there is a big enough budget to encourage reading among U.S. kids today. There are way too many distractions and tablets to play with.

Lo and behold, the nonprofit literacy company is alive and well, and here is its latest effort: books instead of toys in Happy Meals at McDonald's for two weeks in November.

For this, RIF is getting grief. You can see one unhappy customer in the video below.

Critics said that by associating reading with fast food, it's tricking parents into thinking that McDonald's has the kids' best interests in mind. They said McDonald's is trying to ingratiate itself to parents with the books.


Give RIF some credit. This might not be the best campaign ever, but those toys the kids usually get are worthless, and anything that gets books into kids' hands is a good thing. Even if it's in the car.

RIF has the toughest job in the world, second only to the parents.

Get off its back.

About the Author

Karie Dozer is host of Arizona's Noon News.

She has been an on-air personality nearly continually since her college days. She loves radio because it is intelligent, immediate and almost always available.

She is the youngest of nine children from a Midwestern Catholic family where she learned to be heard, fight for a place at the table and find humor in almost everything. She was hired as a news intern while a senior at ASU's Cronkite School, and found that covering human stories like the OJ Simpson white Bronco chase and the 1992-93 Phoenix Suns was too much fun to pass up.

She loved life in the newsroom with all the action and crazy personalities to go with it. She anchored and covered some sports too, until politics dragged her away. She served as press secretary for Arizona's Attorney General Grant Woods for a five-year stint before jumping back to radio on a part-time basis. Three years ago she got back in the biz on a more regular basis as a midday host on what is now KTAR News. She has a passion for the breaking news of the moment, education, local politics, great food, sports and fitness. She has trouble turning down a good argument, a good book or a good glass of wine.

In her spare time she takes care of her boys, (husband Rich, son Jack, and yellow lab Buddy,) and bakes awesome chocolate chip cookies. She enjoys the quality of life the Valley offers her family and the natural beauty of Arizona. Her favorite places are golf courses, her own kitchen, the city of Flagstaff, and wherever her family is.

She considers herself lucky to work with the amazingly talented people of KTAR radio.


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