DALLAS, Nov. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In celebration of National Young Readers Week November 12-16, Pizza Hut® and its famed BOOK IT!® Program have selected the winning Pizza Hut restaurants in the third annual BOOK IT! Big Book Giveaway. The Giveaway challenges Pizza Hut restaurants nationwide to develop creative and impactful ways to donate 500 books in their local communities as part of the program's goal to motivate children to read more and develop a lifelong love of reading.
In addition to the Big Book Giveaway, hundreds of principals are tackling the BOOK IT! Principal Challenge by committing to read an entire school day – from the first bell to the last – in celebration of National Young Readers Week. Principals in 365 cities are planning to read in creative ways such as sitting on the roof of their school, turning the school cafeteria into a library, dressing as their favorite book character, or enjoying a Pizza Hut lunch delivery.
Founded in 1989 by Pizza Hut and the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, National Young Readers Week is an annual event that encourages young readers to get excited about reading. Events are hosted in schools across the country, where local officials, sports figures, public safety officers, parents and other "celebrities" from the community share their favorite stories with students to help reinforce the importance of reading and to encourage reading for enjoyment.
"National Young Readers Week is a perfect time to celebrate both reading and giving back to local communities in a meaningful way," said Shelley Morehead, BOOK IT! Program Administrator. "Our Pizza Hut restaurants have thought hard about how to develop fun and creative ways to distribute books to children in deserving communities."
For the BOOK IT! Big Book Giveaway, 20 of the 6,000 Pizza Hut restaurants nationwide were chosen as winners. Each restaurant winner developed a plan on how to distribute 500 books to children in their communities. These restaurants focused on how the donation of books would impact their community and support literacy tied to the BOOK IT! Program, which is in its 28th year and is reaching more than 14 million young people this school year.
Highlighted below are a few of the winning BOOK IT! Big Book Giveaway Concepts:
- Celebration, Florida: Pizza Hut team members hosted a Big Book Giveaway celebration event with donated books, lunch, bowling and BOOK IT! goodie bags for more than 100 families at the Children's Home Society of Florida Foster Friends Program. The Children's Home helps build and strengthen families, focusing on abused and neglected children. The Pizza Hut celebration event was Sunday, November 11 at Primrose Bowl in Orlando, FL.
- Dallas, Texas: Pizza Hut team members will donate books to Mi Escuelita Preschool, which provides early childhood education for low income at-risk children. Pizza Hut will host a children's reading time and pizza lunch at the preschool on Friday, November 16.
- Sacramento, California: Pizza Hut restaurants will celebrate National Young Readers Week by donating books to the Sacramento Children's Home. The Children's Home is a comprehensive child and family service organization, providing services to the most vulnerable children and families in Sacramento. The Big Book Giveaway event at Sacramento Children's Home is Tuesday, November 13.
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Pizza Hut team members will visit the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia to read stories and distribute books to children during their stay in the hospital on Tuesday, November 13. Pizza Hut will also hold a BOOK IT! party at WC Bryant Elementary on Friday, November 16.
- Indianapolis, Indiana: Pizza Hut restaurants will coordinate a family event and donate books to Shepherd Community Center, an organization focused on breaking the cycle of poverty for area residents. The Big Book Giveaway event is on Tuesday, November 13.
- Atlanta, Georgia: Pizza Hut team members will host a Big Book Giveaway at the Andrew and Walter Young Family YMCA of Metro Atlanta. Pizza Hut restaurants are partnering with Ambassador Andrew Young and YMCA to distribute the books within the community on November 14.
In addition to the book giveaway, the BOOK IT! Program is celebrating National Young Reader's Week by teaming up with One More Story to feature a narrated book on www.bookitprogram.com during November 12 – 16. View the narrated stories at www.bookitprogram.com/teachers/nyrw.
The BOOK IT! Program is part of the "Share a Slice of Hope" movement at Pizza Hut. Share a Slice of Hope encourages consumers and Pizza Hut employees nationwide to help others through the company's three philanthropic pillars: children's literacy, world hunger relief and community involvement.
About One More Story
One More Story is an online library of the best of classic and contemporary children's picture books. Each book is narrated by a different professional actor with original music created by Robby Merkin, former music director of Sesame Street. One More Story was named a top ten digital resource by School Library Journal and has won numerous awards. Visit www.onemorestory.com for more information.
About BOOK IT!
In 1985, Pizza Hut established the BOOK IT! National Reading Incentive Program to motivate children to read more and help them develop a lifelong love of reading. BOOK IT! is a six-month program for students in kindergarten through sixth grade. For more information, visit www.bookitprogram.com or keep up with BOOK IT! via its social media outlets @BOOKITprogram or Facebook.com/BOOKIT1985.
About Pizza Hut
Pizza Hut, America's Favorite Pizza, delivers more pizza, pasta and wings than any other restaurant. The only pizza company to be named a top ten franchise in 2012 by Entrepreneur Magazine, Pizza Hut began 50 years ago in Wichita, Kansas, and today operates nearly 10,000 restaurants in more than 90 countries. Pizza Hut, Inc. is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM). To check out what's new at Pizza Hut visit PizzaHut.com, or keep up with the brand via its social media channels at social.PizzaHut.com.
SOURCE Pizza Hut