Pizza Hut¨ continues its commitment to youth literacy by participating as a sponsor of the Department of Education’s READ*WRITE*NOW! summer reading program for a sixth year. The program begins in May and runs through mid-September.

Marc Brown, author/illustrator of the popular Arthur(TM) books for children, will provide the illustrations for this year’s summer reading initiative. Other sponsors with Pizza Hut are the Association of Library Service to Children of the American Library Association, Reading Is Fundamental, and Scholastic Inc.

READ*WRITE*NOW! was launched in 1995 by U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley and is now a part of the America Reads Challenge issued by President Clinton to make sure every child reads independently by the end of the third grade. You can learn more about the America Reads Challenge at

The goal of READ*WRITE*NOW! is to encourage children to read 30 minutes a day, five days a week, including once a week with a learning partner, and to learn at least one new vocabulary word every day. Children also are encouraged to sign up for and use a library card. Children who reach this goal can redeem a Pizza Hut pizza certificate, which is included in program materials, for a free Personal Pan Pizza¨.

“With Arthur(TM) now in libraries again, this time as a face on READ*WRITE*NOW!, children have yet another reason to get engaged in the valuable experience of reading this summer,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley. Research shows that many students lose reading skills over the summer, while children who continue to read and write generally improve.

Pizza Hut funds and sponsors two of its own youth-literacy programs. The six-month BOOK IT!¨ National Reading Incentive Program, beginning its l6th year this fall, is used by 800,000 classrooms with enrollment of 20 million children in 50,000 schools. A new program, BOOK IT! Beginners¨, is a two-month read-aloud program for preschool and pre-kindergarten children, which completed its third year in April 2000. BOOK IT! Beginners is used in 25,000 early childhood centers in 75,000 classrooms with enrollment of one million.

Those hungry for more information can go to the Pizza Hut home page at For more information on the BOOK IT! Program, call 1-800-BOOK IT! or visit the BOOK IT! Web site at

Pizza Hut is a division of Tricon Global Restaurants, Inc.

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