Letter: Branding can shape young minds

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When I went to Stevenson Elementary to pick up my kindergartner, I was surprised at the new gift we received — a new book bag. Being stylish and useful, it was proportionate to my daughter's size. I later got home and see the words "Golden Helix" printed on the bag, on top of an image of the Columbia River Gorge. I was at first a little mesmerized: Golden Helix-River Gorge, a great duo on a daily used item. I then wondered what she will think of it when she starts to read. What will she think if she were able to read last December's main headliner for the U.S.: "Stem cell research controversy?" (Golden Helix's website describes itself as a "leading bioinformatics company that enables the world's leading researchers to find or diagnose the genetic causes of disease.")

I have to admit I am just one person from the 7 billion in the world — and I do have opinions. But what would the introduction of a hot topic into the minds of elementary school-aged children do? In a way, are we allowing more approval "here and there"? This is certainly a topic to think about. Somewhere in the modern busy life may one person take this in and think how easy for any simple action to shape the minds of children.

Marcella Rodriguez

Stevenson