PLANO, Texas, Oct. 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- To kick off the 32nd year of the BOOK IT! Program, Pizza Hut® unveiled its first-ever Page Turner Grant program to support individuals and organizations in local communities that share the restaurant's commitment to literacy and reading.
The BOOK IT! Program and Page Turner Grants are part of Pizza Hut: The Literacy Project, a broader commitment to literacy and reading announced earlier this fall. The goal of The Literacy Project is to impact 100 million people by enabling access to books and educational resources, empowering teachers and inspiring a lifelong love of reading.
"It's vitally important for Pizza Hut to continue to make an impact in the local communities that we serve," said Doug Terfehr, Senior Director, Social Impact at Pizza Hut. "The Page Turner Grant program is an opportunity to celebrate and support those who are taking the time to help people become their best through literacy and reading. Whether fostering book ownership, providing resources for teachers or helping students find the joy in reading, we are thrilled to provide this opportunity in our ongoing commitment to literacy."
The grant program runs through Nov. 30 and will award a total of $50,000 to applicants that demonstrate a high level of impact in enabling access to reading, empowering teachers or inspiring readers. More information is available at www.bookitprogram.com.
In addition to the Page Turner Grant program, classrooms across the nation are kicking off the reading season with BOOK IT! and two-time Newbery Medal Award-winning author Kate DiCamillo and her book, Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures, illustrated by K.G. Campbell.
Winner of the 2014 Newbery Medal, Flora and Ulysses is an adventure novel starring 10-year-old Flora Belle Buckman and her superhero squirrel Ulysses. The book is celebrated in teacher circles for helping students explore interpersonal relationships, expand their vocabulary, create superhero-themed artwork and begin learning about poetry and philosophy.
"I've been a big reader my whole life," said DiCamillo. "I truly don't think I could survive without stories. My hope is that students in the Pizza Hut BOOK IT! Program experience the thrill of opening new books month after month, and that they, too, become lifelong, joyous readers."
In addition, Pizza Hut will proudly offer two free Kindle books to parents of BOOK IT! readers – Mercy Watson to the Rescue by Kate DiCamillo and Maisy Goes to the Library by Lucy Cousins – thanks to Candlewick Press. For young listeners, a Listening Library audiobook version of Mercy Watson to the Rescue is also available for download from Audible. Parents can access the free books by visiting www.bookitprogram.com/amazon.
Running every school year from October through March, the goal of the BOOK IT! Program – available for children from kindergarten through sixth grade – is to foster a love of reading. Students who meet monthly reading goals set by their teacher receive a Reading Award Certificate to redeem at participating Pizza Hut locations for a one-topping Personal Pan Pizza® and a Passport to Reading Award. More than 14 million students will participate this school year. For more information, visit www.bookitprogram.com.
The BOOK IT! Program and Page Turner Grants are examples of events happening around the world under Pizza Hut: The Literacy Project. Other initiatives include employee volunteerism activations and fundraisers benefitting local schools and programs. All funds raised in the U.S. go directly to First Book, a recognized nonprofit, social sector leader in supporting equal access to education in local communities. Consumers can donate year-round to The Literacy Project at PizzaHut.com.
About BOOK IT!
Created in 1984 by Pizza Hut, BOOK IT! currently reaches over 14 million students in 620,000 classrooms annually. The longest-running, corporate-supported reading program in the country has engaged educators for more than three decades. Since its inception, more than 64 million students have participated in the program.
For additional information about the Pizza Hut BOOK IT! program, visit www.BOOKITprogram.com. Follow BOOK IT! on Facebook (www.facebook.com/BOOKITprogram), Twitter (www.twitter.com/BOOKITprogram) and Instagram (www.instagram.com/BOOKITprogram).
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. The pizza restaurant began 58 years ago in Wichita, Kansas, when two brothers borrowed $600 from their mom to start a pizzeria. What started out small has become the biggest pizza restaurant in the world and today operates more than 16,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries serving innovative pizzas, traditional favorites like the signature Pan Pizza, and much more. Pizza Hut also is the proprietor of the BOOK IT!® Program, which is a long-standing children's literacy program used in more than 630,000 classrooms nationwide. For more information, visit www.pizzahut.com. Follow Pizza Hut on Facebook (www.facebook.com/PizzaHut), Twitter (www.twitter.com/pizzahut) and Instagram (www.instagram.com/pizzahut).
About Kate DiCamillo
Kate DiCamillo is one of America's most beloved storytellers. She is the former National Ambassador for Young People's Literature and a two-time Newbery Medalist. Born in Philadelphia, she grew up in Florida and now lives in Minneapolis, where she faithfully writes two pages a day, five days a week. More information about her work is available at http://www.katedicamillostoriesconnectus.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/KateDiCamillo/
*For all media inquiries, please contact:
Courtney Moscovic, 972-338-8288, Courtney.Moscovic@yum.com
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SOURCE Pizza Hut