DALLAS, Sept. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- For 29 years, the Pizza Hut® BOOK IT!® Program has stood for one thing, and that's empowering a love of reading in young children. During the 2013-14 school year, the program will impact another 14 million kids in grades K-6 in more than 620,000 classrooms across the country.
On October 1, known as National BOOK IT! Day, BOOK IT! will debut a new, custom story written just for BOOK IT! by Jeff Kinney. Splat tells the story of a boy and his friend who try to escape the watchful eye of safety patrol on the way home from school. Readers everywhere can enjoy at www.pizzahut.com/bookit. This release kicks off the beginning of the "reading season" that will undoubtedly culminate month after month inside Pizza Hut restaurants nationwide with kids and families celebrating another successful month of reading over a beloved Pizza Hut Personal Pan Pizza®.
"The Pizza Hut BOOK IT! Program reaches students with a positive message about how rewarding reading can be and that is so important to us," said Shelley Morehead, BOOK IT! Program administrator. "Through our 29 years of advancing literacy, we're fortunate to have such tremendous support from schools and teachers around the country who want to make it great for kids by giving them the lifelong gift of reading."
BOOK IT!, which has customized reading materials for all ages, is entering year two of a partnership with award-winning author Jeff Kinney and his bestselling book series, "Diary of a Wimpy Kid." The eighth book, Hard Luck, is on sale November 5, 2013, and is one of the biggest books of the year. Elements of the Wimpy Kid books will be integrated into all BOOK IT! classroom materials, teacher printouts and a parent- and child-friendly web creative at www.pizzahut.com/bookit.
"We have been so impressed with the BOOK IT! Program and the impact it has both on a national level and within each participating school," said Kinney. "As you can imagine, I developed a love for reading at a young age and a program like BOOK IT! does an incredible job of keeping reading fun and relevant."
Throughout the 2013-14 BOOK IT! program year, students, teachers and even principals will have opportunities to support literacy in their school and community. Some of these activities include:
- National Young Readers Week – National Young Readers Week is an ongoing initiative to support literacy and BOOK IT! is challenging all principals to read all day, starting from the first bell and ending with the last. Some principals read in the hallway, some go to classrooms and some will even read from the roof!
- Minute Tracker – The Minute Tracker is an interactive, online tool for teachers to use to promote reading in the classroom. One lucky classroom winner who uses the Minute Tracker will receive a classroom visit from Jeff Kinney in Spring 2014.
The BOOK IT! reading incentive program, launched by Pizza Hut in 1985, provides the materials for teachers and librarians to set monthly goals and present students with a reading award certificate when goals are met. Students take the certificates to a Pizza Hut restaurant, where they are congratulated by a team member and given a free, one-topping Personal Pan Pizza. There is no purchase necessary and the pizza can be taken to go.
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.pizzahut.com/bookit or keep up with BOOK IT! via its social media outlets @BOOKITprogram and Facebook.com/BOOKIT1985.
About "Diary of a Wimpy Kid"
More than 85 million Diary of a Wimpy Kid books are in print around the world. The books have been sold in more than 44 territories in 42 languages. Published by Amulet Books, an imprint of ABRAMS, Kinney's work has been widely praised for its ability to turn reluctant readers on to books. Book 8 in the series. Diary of a Wimpy Kid Hard Luck, will have the biggest print run of 2013 and will release on November 5, 2013. The series has been a fixture on the USA Today , Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly and New York Times bestseller lists. Jeff Kinney was named one of Time magazine's most influential people in the world. Three movies based on the book series have grossed more than $250 million internationally. The book series won Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards in 2010, 2011, and 2012 (and is nominated for one in 2013), and Jeff Kinney won a Children's Choice Book Award in 2012. Books in the series have won numerous awards voted on by students and teachers around the globe. The Wimpy Kid island (Wimpy Wonderland) on poptropica.com, a virtual world for kids, remains one of the most visited on the site.
About Pizza Hut
Pizza Hut, a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM), delivers more pizza, pasta and wings than any other restaurant in the world. In 2013, Pizza Hut was named the Harris Poll Equitrend® Pizza Brand of the Year and was the recipient of the Innovation and Leadership in Advertising Award from the American Advertising Federation, 10th District. The only pizza company to be named a top ten franchise in 2013 by Entrepreneur Magazine, Pizza Hut began 55 years ago in Wichita, Kansas, and today operates more than 10,000 restaurants in more than 90 countries. Pizza Hut also is the proprietor of the BOOK IT! ® Program, which is a long-standing children's literacy program used in more than 620,000 classrooms nationwide. To order online from Pizza Hut, visit PizzaHut.com.
SOURCE Pizza Hut