It's a gas: Hot air balloon pilot Bill Baker at Brooks School.J. GEIL/Staff Photographer

Every once in a while a Wednesday Journal news section article manages to generate more questions than it answers. It’s all hot-air for Brooks kids [News, June 1] is a recent example. Here are some questions the story did not get around to answering (not to mention asking):

1. When did “promotional programs teaching kids about balloon history and technology” become an instructional priority at District 97?

2. Is it possible that this “promotional program” has less to do with “teaching kids about balloon history and technology” and more to do with getting the sponsoring realtor’s name in front of about 100 impressionable students?

3. For those students, was this marketing session optional or mandatory?

4. I have heard that brand placement and promotion in schools is one of the hot new marketing trends. What compensation did D97 receive in return for allowing this marketing opportunity, delivered to about 100 of its students?

5. What compensation did Wednesday Journal receive for printing this blatant advertisement on behalf of one of its presumably valued advertisers, passed off as a community news article (or was it labeled as a “Special Advertising Section” and I just missed it)?

Dave Mercer
Oak Park

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