If you were a kid in the 1980s or ‘90s, you may remember reading predominantly in order to earn free Pizza Hut personal pan pizzas. Launched in 1984, Pizza Hut’s BOOK IT! program is built on the premise that the promise of cheesy, deep-dish goodness would be an effective enough motivator to get kids to read more consistently. They were right then, and they are right today—perhaps especially during a summer in which library reading programs may be less of an option.
Graphic: Pizza Hut
This year, the iconic summer reading program has gone digital—parents can enroll their kids (entering grades K-6) online and track their reading goals. Each child has the opportunity to earn one free, one-topping personal pan pizza for each month of June, July and August.
Kids no longer have to keep track of the titles of each book they’ve read. Now, reading goals tend to be more based on amount of time spent reading, with a suggested goal of 20 minutes per day, five days per week, for a total of 400 minutes per month. But honestly, you can create your own reading goals based on your child’s specific needs, whether it’s by amount of time spent reading or the number of books read. You (and your kids) can keep track of their progress at home with your own chart or calendar—here is a simple minute-tracker and a reading log provided by Pizza Hut to get you started.
After you’ve established their goals, create an online BOOK IT! account, and enroll each child in the program. Once they’ve reached their goal for the month, simply move the tracking circle next to their name all the way to the right to indicate they’ve fulfilled their goal. Pizza Hut will then email you a certificate for their free pizza, with a unique code that can be used when ordering online or in person.
If you’re ordering at a restaurant, you can either print the certificate at home or show the server the code on your cell phone. All reading certificates for June, July and August will expire on Sept. 15, so read and redeem early and often.