DALLAS, Feb. 14, 2012 // PRNewswire // -- The stage is set for superstar quarterback Tim Tebow to deliver one of his clutch performances that will benefit young readers across the country. Tim has partnered with BOOK IT!, the reading incentive program sponsored by Pizza Hut, to host America's Biggest Storytime, an annual celebrity webcast to motivate children to read more and to help develop a lifelong love of reading. Beginning tomorrow, Feb. 15 at 8 a.m. CST, Tim will read his favorite childhood book, "Green Eggs and Ham" by Dr. Seuss. Children, parents, teachers and sports fans alike are encouraged to join the webcast at bookitprogram.com/biggeststorytime.
"It's 'Tebow Time' for BOOK IT! and America's Biggest Storytime," said Chris Fuller, director of public affairs at Pizza Hut. "Similar to his drive and determination on the football field, Tim has shown a passion for reading and encouraging literacy among today's youth. Tim's personal connection to literacy, along with the mission of his foundation, makes him the perfect host of our 2012 webcast."
As a "thank you" for Tim's participation, BOOK IT! has made a donation to the Tim Tebow Foundation, which is dedicated to bringing faith, hope and love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need. The 2012 webcast looks to surpass last year's record setting event that recorded more than 500,000 viewers.
Readers can join in by logging on to bookitprogram.com/biggeststorytime on Feb. 15 starting at 8 a.m. CST. The webcast will be available online through Feb. 22.
America's Biggest Storytimewas created in 2007 by the BOOK IT! Program in response to research that revealed that nearly half of all American parents (48 percent of those responding to a BOOK IT! Program survey) do not have a nightly tradition of reading to their kids before bed. (1)
There is a need to read at home. According to a 2003 study by Cathy Collins Block, professor at Texas Christian University School of Education, student achievement is significantly bolstered by just 20 extra minutes of reading each day (Hunter, 2004, p. 39).(2) A 2008 poll of teachers who participated in the BOOK IT! Program found that 96 percent of teachers agreed that parents aren't spending enough time reading to their kids at home.(3) In fact, according to this survey, when it comes to reading at home, nearly 42 percent of the responding teachers said that they would give parents a grade of D or F.
Parents looking to improve their "grades" can try reading the book that teachers surveyed recommended most for bedtime reading, Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd. Parents can also find helpful tools on www.bookitprogram.com, including tips on encouraging literacy at home and a bedtime story contract to encourage nightly reading as a family.
Dr. Seuss Enterprises was founded in 1993 following the death of Theodor S. Geisel, Dr. Seuss, to conserve and nurture the works of Dr. Seuss by protecting the integrity of the Dr. Seuss books while expanding beyond books into licensed merchandise. The licensing effort is a strategic part of the overall effort to strengthen and protect the relationship consumers have with Dr. Seuss characters. Theodor Geisel said he never wanted to license his characters to anyone who would "round out the edges." That is one of the guiding philosophies of Dr. Seuss Enterprises.
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.bookitprogram.com or keep up with BOOK IT! via its social media outlets @BOOKITprogram or Facebook.com/BOOKIT1985.
Pizza Hut, America's Favorite Pizza, delivers more pizza, pasta and wings than any other restaurant. The only pizza company to be named a top ten franchise in 2012 by Entrepreneur Magazine, Pizza Hut began 50 years ago in Wichita, Kansas, and today operates nearly 10,000 restaurants in more than 90 countries. Pizza Hut, Inc. is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM). To check out what's new at Pizza Hut visit PizzaHut.com, or keep up with the brand via its social media channels at social.PizzaHut.com.
1) The BOOK IT! Program worked with Synovate to conduct a 2007 online survey of 444 American parents 18 and older with children, 9 years old or younger.
2) Hunter, Phyllis (2004, January/February). Classroom Libraries Level the Playing Field. Scholastic Instructor Magazine, p. 39.
3) The BOOK IT! Program conducted a 2009 online survey of 469 teachers who participate in the BOOK IT! Program.
SOURCE Pizza Hut