PLANO, Texas, Oct. 4, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Pizza Hut BOOK IT! Program is kicking off its 33rd year by announcing it will expand the program from 620,000 classrooms to one million by 2020.
Launched in 1984, BOOK IT! is a reading program designed to encourage kindergarten through sixth grade students to find the joy in reading. To date, the iconic program has reached 1 in 5 Americans (65 million nationwide), and its time-tested approach to encouraging reading has made a tremendous impact.
A new survey1 found that former participants in the BOOK IT! Program are more likely to hold a degree from a higher education institution (61 percent), compared to the general population (49 percent). Additionally, it showed that BOOK IT! alumni are more likely to earn higher wages. Specifically, BOOK IT! alumni are 53 percent more likely to earn a household income of $100K or more, compared to the general population.
More importantly, the survey also revealed that adults who have gone through the program are more likely to establish regular reading routines with their family, as more than half (54 percent) of BOOK IT! alumni say they read with their children every day, compared to 32 percent of the general population.
"The mission of the BOOK IT! Program is to turn 'have to read' into 'want to read' in classrooms and living rooms across the country, and it is immensely gratifying to see BOOK IT! alumni instilling a love of reading within their own families," said Natasha Collins, Manager Social Impact, Pizza Hut. "While we know there are many factors that contribute to personal success, reading and literacy are critical."
BOOK IT! Expands Through Digital
To further its commitment to literacy, Pizza Hut is opening a new chapter in the BOOK IT! Program by developing innovative digital features that will be available to teachers and parents beginning in the 2018-19 school year.
The streamlined enrollment process and interactive teacher dashboard will provide teachers with up-to-date reading progress at their fingertips and an exciting in-classroom celebration experience. Additionally, it will be easier for parents to monitor their child's reading progress and celebrate their success with digital award certificates delivered to their inbox. The digital rollout is a key enabler of BOOK IT!'s expansion to one million classrooms by 2020.
A Global Literacy Commitment
BOOK IT! is a key pillar of Pizza Hut: The Literacy Project – the brand's global commitment to impacting 100 million lives by enabling access to books and educational resources, empowering teachers and inspiring readers. In the first year of the campaign, the company impacted 15.9 million people and distributed more than 275,000 books and educational resources – across markets including the U.S., Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica and South Africa.
To support these efforts, Pizza Hut also partnered with First Book, a recognized nonprofit, social sector leader, to engage consumers in a fundraising initiative to provide new books and educational resources to schools and programs that serve children in need.
"Advancing equal education begins through the simple act of putting the highest quality books and resources directly into the hands of children. Pizza Hut: The Literacy Project is championing this cause by providing access to books and other resources for communities that have the greatest need," said Kyle Zimmer, co-founder, president and CEO, First Book. "This vital program is made even more powerful by ensuring that the books reflect the full diversity of our country. When children can see themselves in the stories they read, the impact is profound. Our own research tells us that children are inspired to read more."
Addressing literacy-related issues – like access and empowerment – are part of a global focus led by the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), one of which is Quality Education.
Results achieved by Pizza Hut: The Literacy Project are in direct support of SDG 4 – Quality Education. The goal of SDG 4 is to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. Specifically, Pizza Hut is delivering results, in part, to support Target 4.6, which is to ensure that all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy by 2030.
For more information on the Pizza Hut BOOK IT! Program and how schools can participate, visit http://www.bookitprogram.com. To learn more about Pizza Hut: The Literacy Project, visit http://theliteracyproject.pizzahut.com/.
About Pizza Hut
Pizza Hut, a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM), serves and delivers more pizzas than any other pizza company in the world. With easy order options including the Pizza Hut app, mobile site, Facebook and Twitter messenger and Amazon devices, Pizza Hut is committed to providing an easy pizza experience – from order to delivery.
Founded in 1958, Pizza Hut has become the most-recognized pizza restaurant in the world, operating more than 16,400 restaurants in more than 100 countries.
Pizza Hut is also the proprietor of The Literacy Project, an initiative designed to enable access, empower teachers and inspire a lifelong love of reading. The program is rooted in the foundation set by the Pizza Hut BOOK IT! Program, which is the longest-running corporate supported literacy program, impacting more than 14 million students each year. For more information, visit www.pizzahut.com.
About BOOK IT!
The Pizza Hut BOOK IT! Program motivates children to read by rewarding their reading accomplishments with praise, recognition and pizza. The program is simple, flexible, fun and free for teachers to use in their classrooms. Students who meet monthly reading goals set by their teacher receive a Reading Award Certificate to redeem at participating Pizza Hut locations for a free one-topping Personal Pan Pizza® and a Reading Journal. For more information on the Pizza Hut BOOK IT! Program and how schools can participate, visit http://www.bookitprogram.com/.
The survey was conducted by Toluna from August 16-18, 2017 and based on 2000 responses. The sample was representative of an adult online population, between the ages of 18 and 59, 60% of whom have or had children in the household in the United States.
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SOURCE Pizza Hut