New Honda Road Readers Program Designed to Encourage Children to Use Their Imaginations During Drives

- Custom-Created App Gives Honda Owners Access to More Than 100 Free Audiobooks, Offers Parents Opportunities for Quality Family Time

- Honda Road Readers Program Seeks to Better Utilize the Roughly 208 Hours the Typical American Family Spends Driving Per Year

Dec 08, 2015, 10:00 ET from American Honda Motor Co.

TORRANCE, Calif., Dec. 8, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The average family spends about four hours per week in the car. Honda wants families to put that time to good use. Today the brand is launching Honda Road Readers, a new app (available on Apple® and Android™) providing Honda drivers free access to children's audiobooks to expose children to great literature and foster their imaginations. An introductory video to the program will be promoted on Honda's social channels, using the hashtag #HondaRoadReaders. 

"The goal for the Honda Road Readers program is to provide an educational and entertaining alternative to the usual car ride and inspire young listeners to vividly imagine," said Susie Rossick, Assistant Vice President, Honda/Acura Regional Media and Marketing at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "This effort is a powerful demonstration of our commitment to the brand's 'Power of Dreams' philosophy by encouraging our customers and their families to dream big together."

To add to the experience, most books are supported with critical-thinking questions aimed at getting parents and children to dive deeper into each story. Honda has also teamed up with the National Teacher of the Year Program run by the Council of Chief State School Officers to provide a curated selection of books that will be both entertaining and intellectually stimulating.

"Students learn best when they have enthusiastic teachers, and parents are a child's first and most important teacher. Honda Road Readers will help families share the infectious fun of reading together on journeys of the mind, the imagination and the heart," says Rebecca Mieliwocki, the 2012 National Teacher of the Year and 7th-grade English teacher in Burbank, Calif. "Reading not only boosts academic success but also awakens a person's social and civic sense. They help us know and be mesmerized by the world around us and give us a sense of how we fit in. Simply put, books change lives for the better."

Honda recently commissioned a surveyi of more than 1,500 parents with one or more children ages 5 to 16 and learned that 77 percent of parents think listening to books or stories read aloud is very important for children's cognitive development and developing listening skills. The survey also revealed that parents (69 percent) are concerned that their children are spending too much time in front of screens (cell phones, computers and TV). They are equally aware that their children are not reading books for fun and have fewer opportunities to use their imagination these days.

A Honda Road Readers infographic summarizing the survey findings can be viewed on Honda's Pinterest and Tumblr pages.

Any Honda owner can easily access the Honda Road Readers program. First, owners go to www.hondaroadreaders.com to register. Owners will then be directed to download the Honda Road Readers app in the Apple or Android store. Next, owners will either scan or key in their 17-character vehicle identification number (VIN). Honda owners will have access to five free audiobooks per Honda VIN aimed at children 5 to 16 years old for one year, the first being J. M. Barrie's classic Peter Pan and followed by four other titles of their choice.

The app experience features 10 rotating National Teacher of the Year featured books and several audiobook categories including fantasy/adventure, mystery, science fiction and teens.

To further support Honda Road Readers in December, the brand will debut a social video, titled "Imagination Inspiration," featuring Jeff Kinney, the bestselling author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. Honda spoke with the author, just before he departed on a global tour for book 10, about his new bookstore, imagination and the Honda Road Readers program.

About Honda 
Honda offers a full line of reliable, fuel-efficient and fun-to-drive automobiles for American car buyers through approximately 1,000 independent U.S. Honda dealers. The Honda lineup includes the Accord, Civic, Fit and CR-Z, along with the Pilot, CR-V and HR-V sport/utility vehicles and the Odyssey minivan.

Honda has the longest-lasting cars1 of any mainstream automotive brand in America, and more models achieving an IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating than any other automotive nameplate.

Honda has been producing automobiles in America for more than 30 years and currently operates 16 major manufacturing facilities in North America. In 2014, more than 97 percent of all Honda vehicles sold in the U.S. were made in North America, using domestic and globally sourced parts.

1 Longevity based on IHS Automotive, Polk U.S. vehicles in operation registration statistics 1988–2012 for Honda and non-luxury competing brands.

i Sample base: 1,516. Live in the U.S., over 18, have at least one child age 5–16, own at least one non-luxury vehicle, regularly drive their children and own a smartphone.

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SOURCE American Honda Motor Co.