I've always been a big reader, but I'd be lying if I said that the reward of a free personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut wasn't motivating. Now, the program is back in a big way because Pizza Hut's BOOK IT! program is digital, including new Camp BOOK IT! The summer reading program lets parents be the teachers, and encourages student to keep up the good work of the school year.
While the original paper program is still available for future use in classrooms, right now, the digital option is ready for use. And let me tell you, the program you remember from childhood — where you wrote down the title and author in the book-shaped space — is long gone. Now there are fancy online trackers, reading help, and even books and magazines available online to assist kids in reaching those goals and earning those one-topping personal pan pizzas.
When you sign up, you will be shown to your dashboard, which allows you to input your child's reading logs and file for the cheesy pizza prizes. The resources available to parents are plenty. There are printables with bookplates, door hangers, and certificates. And even though Pizza Hut's BOOK IT! program is digital, they have provided access to activities like character analysis sheets, and other learning aids like story sequence pyramids. All of these work together to ensure that children have the ability to learn the why of books, and not just the content, helping them to become active learners.
Some of the cooler things they do are featured on their Instagram page, where they hold live activities, present new challenges, and host read-alouds.
Pizza Hut's BOOK IT! program has been around since 1984, with the goal of increasing literacy in children from kindergarten to sixth grade. They have partnered with multiple publishers, as well as Disney and Lucasfilm, which means that they can produce exclusive content for the program that will entice young readers almost as much as the promise of pizza. (I mean, seriously, so much Yoda content.)
BOOK IT! was a joy in my childhood. I have often lamented that I wish that there was some form of adult equivalent. Alas, this is not meant to be, but I can show my children the true happiness that comes with reaping these rewards. It's a free pizza, but it's also a sense of accomplishment that spurs on little minds to want more. We need that now more than ever.
We don't know what the school year will look like, or what summer will bring, but we can keep kids on the right track by using programs like BOOK IT! to help soothe strange edges and keep kids engaged.