Meatheads, a Chicago-based fast-casual restaurant that provides a full-service dining experience, is kicking off its third year of summer reading with the annual launch of the “2013 Voracious Reading Program.”

The program, which officially starts June 17 and runs until August 31, encourages kids to read books during the summer to stay sharp.

In 2012, the program had participation from more than 65,000 kids, and this year the program is reaching nearly 100,000 kids through local schools and libraries.

As part of the program, students must read five books to earn a reward of one little Meathead burger. A parent or guardian signature is required for each award.

The program is active at all 11 Chicagoland Meatheads locations. Some of the most popular titles students typically read over the summer include “The Little Engine That Could”, “The Giving Tree”, and “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”.

In addition to the reading program, Meatheads prides itself on its community partners. There are two other established community programs the brand participates in: Meathead of the Game and on-site fundraising.

Meathead of the Game celebrates young athletes in organized sports who choose to participate in real games, rather than play video games. It is designed to reward determination, hustle, and hard work in local youth athletes. In 2012, more than 50,000 kids throughout Chicagoland participated in this program.

Meatheads also offers nonprofit groups, schools, and other community organizations the opportunity to raise funds by having a fundraiser at a local Meatheads store.

As of May 2013, Meatheads has donated more than $10,000 to local community organizations through this program alone.

“Investing in student programs such as our Voracious Reading Program and Meathead of the Game is a responsibility that our company takes seriously,” says Joe Sanders, marketing manager. “We want to celebrate achievement for students and encourage them to aim high in both academics and sports.”

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