With millions of books read since its inception, the BOOK IT! Program, a reading incentive program developed by Pizza Hut, is kicking off a year-long celebration of its 25th birthday. As part of the celebration, the BOOK IT! Program is collecting birthday wishes on an oversized book that will make its rounds across the country.
"For 25 years, the BOOK IT! Program has been one of the strongest reading incentive programs available," says Leslie Brunt, BOOK IT! Program director. "We are so honored by the outpouring of support we've received through the years and for all the birthday wishes that are coming our way. There are few things more gratifying than knowing you played a part in encouraging children to read. On behalf of the millions of books read since the program began, we thank everyone who has participated and showed their support."
The birthday celebration officially kicked off on December 5 at Variety Magazine's Power of Youth Event in Los Angeles. Pizza Hut pizza was provided to the crowd of more than 700 guests, which included celebrity ambassadors Corbin Bleu, Miranda Cosgrove, and AnnaLynne McCord. Ultimately, the BOOK IT! birthday book was signed nearly 300 times. For each signature on the card, the BOOK IT! Program will donate a book in honor of the signee to LA's BEST, an after school program that aims to provide a safe and supervised environment for elementary school students.
Signed comments ranged from "I was a BOOK IT! kid," to "I love reading!" After a brief stop at the BOOK IT! headquarters in Dallas, the birthday book will begin makings its rounds across the country, gathering as many signatures and birthday wishes as possible in a year. Additionally, BOOK IT! fans can sign their birthday wishes on a virtual card online.