Warriors Against the Core, what do you get when you take an at-home ‘teachable moment’ and add digital badges?! You get a CCSS pot stirring lesson.
Look below and see if you can see the hiding-in-plain-sight CCSS/STEM themed agenda.
What you see above is from the name brand “Uncle Ben” rice. The cooking with your family concept is wonderful. It’s part of how we bond. It’s a great way for parents to guide their children. However, not everything connected to education needs an agenda. So, IS there an agenda to the Uncle Ben’s current project?!
The company behind Uncle Ben’s is Mars Food North America. Back in Oct. 2015, Mars/Uncle Ben’s conducted an educational survey. Here’s an excerpt about the survey. “Between both the survey and video, the goal was to have parents stop and ask themselves if they were taking the same level of passion around homework into the kitchen to teach their children how to cook,” said Andrew Cops, U.S. Director of Marketing. He went on to state, “Cooking is an integral part of a child’s development because it teaches them math when they measure out ingredients, science when they bring things together and reading as they learn to understand and decipher recipes.”
If you’d like to see the entire Press Release and see the video mentioned in the excerpt,
Let me pause here to say that I think teaching kids to cook is absolutely vital. My concern is as always, is there more just under the surface we should know? For example, is Mars Food North America a CCSS backing company? Is the ‘Homework Direct’ service featured in the video a real service? Is the “Ben’s Beginner Program simply a way to teach cooking, or is there CCSS or any of its related alignment present in the Project?
Mars and Common Core?!
Mars Foods (aka Mars, Inc.) is a global company. They make more than rice and candy, however. Pet foods are among their products. They also are the company behind Banfield Pet Hospitals and many other products/services.
Mars, Inc. is also into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). STEM is a big part of CTE, Career Tech Education, which is part of Common Core. Mars is involved with fossil fuels, solar energy, green house gas emissions. Their webpages on these will show you they are convinced (and thus leading others to the same conclusion) that the climate change is a big, scary deal. See: http://www.mars.com/global/doing-our-part/principles-in-action
Mars, Inc. has their own “Career Paths”. As you may know Common Core also uses the phrase “Career Pathways” as part of CTE, Career Tech Education. To see Mars’ ‘Paths’:
Mars, Inc. believes in, and participates in P3s (public private partnerships) in education. Through the Wrigley Foundation (as in Wrigley’s Chewing Gum). See:
(*Note: to see the Wrigley Foundation’s overreach into the classroom with CCSS and STEM, see this CA school: https://dornsife.usc.edu/wrigley/foodforthought/ )
Mars, Inc. is a member of the Business RoundTable. A HUGE ed/workforce, Common Core; Career Tech Ed; CCSS Machine member organization. If you haven’t seen the latest pro CCSS/CTE/STEM propaganda out of the BRT, you can find it here:
The Uncle Ben’s Project:
The Mars Foods/Uncle Ben’s project is called “Ben’s Beginners”. You can see, above, what the purpose of the Beginner’s project is. There is more, however. Look below:
Okay, winning something for your school isn’t too bad, BUT…
Knowing that the National PTA is a CCSS Machine member, we need to ask about our State PTAs or local PTAs. Are they, too, aligned?! (see: http://www.pta.org/commoncore)
For all the promotion are expected to do in the picture above, all you get for motivation is coupon worth less than $3.00!
You can download the official Press Kit, https://beginners.unclebens.com/docs/default-source/about/pr-toolkit.pdf?sfvrsn=2
The resources for PTA/PTOs can be found: https://www.unclebens.com/ben’s-beginners/for-schools
As far as the ‘digital badges’? You receive them upon completing each recipe/lesson. For example, when you click on the link below, notice the steps as the link loads. “Polishing badge” will appear. See:
There are 5 lessons/recipes in all: https://beginners.unclebens.com/cooking-lessons
October 15th has been set aside by the folks at Uncle Ben’s as “International Cook With Your Kid Day”. See: https://beginners.unclebens.com/cwykd
‘Loose Grains of Rice’ (related information):
As far as the question about “Homework Direct”, as featured in the Uncle Ben’s video, there is NOT a real service that I could find with that logo or tied to Mars. I did find several services with that name, however. The biggest one is from the United Kingdom. I didn’t find any connections, though.
October 15th, 2016:
Interestingly enough the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) has deemed Oct. 15th as “Global Handwashing Day”. See: http://www.cdc.gov/features/globalhandwashing/
There’s even a public private partnership (P3) for Global Handwashing Day. See:
Finding ‘Ben’s Beginnings’ in your school district’s budget: I found the Mars/Uncle’s Ben’s Project in a FL public school 2013-14 budget. Pasco County, FL Warriors, take note!
Page 31 is what you see below:
Pasco’s 2014-15 Budget included the Ben’s Beginnings again. Same General Fund (CCSS comes under that General Funding, too), same account number. Page 30, though.
You won’t find “Ben’s Beginnings” exclusively in FL, just like CA is not the only State the Wrigley Foundation’s overreach in the classroom can be found either. Since Mars, Inc. is connected to Uncle Ben’s and Wrigley’s Foundation, it’ll continue its quest for global CCSS/STEM/CTE alignment. Who knew a pot of rice could contain so much agenda?