In an effort to promote children’s literacy Papa Murphy’s Pizza ( Seattle franchises) have partnered with Borders to promote children’s literacy with a program called, the “BOOK Your Summer” reading program. Encouraging children in the Puget Sound Region to read by offering free pizzas and a chance to win prizes including the highly anticipated new “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” book or a year of free pizzas from Papa Murphy’s. Borders and Papa Murphy’s hope to instill a lifetime love of reading.
Ralph Etter, President of Papa Murphy’s Seattle franchisee co-op sees the popularity of pizza as a favorite food among children as a natural partner with their desire for the new Harry Potter sensation. Don Shaw, district marketing manager from Borders, sees this as an opportunity to offer children an opportunity to discover the magic of books.
Together they may have hit upon a unique way to encourage children in the Washington area to step away from the latest video crazy and discovery the joys of reading that could become a lifetime pleasure.
Once children have completed the reading challenge they will automatically receive a free medium-size one-topping pizza from Papa Murphy’s and are entered to win the grand prize of either “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” or a year of free pizza from Papa Murphy’s.
Educators have long voiced concern over the number of ‘functionally illiterate’ individuals being graduated from high schools and in some cases even colleges all across the nation. According to national surveys, roughly one in five American children grows up functionally illiterate. According to information at the Children’s Literacy Foundation’s website, three out of four American school children don’t have the skills needed to write a story of report proficiently.
Instilling a hunger for reading begins long before a child has the ability to read for themselves. Studies show that the literacy levels of the adults in the household will be an indicator of the literacy of the children. They are more likely to drop out of school in a home where illiteracy is the norm and there is no example or encouragement to develop good reading skills. The most important place to begin to encourage a hunger to learn is set in the home. Those families which set aside time to read to their child from the earliest years and up will be rewarded with a youngster ready and eager to read their first book ‘all by themselves’.
Parents can encourage reading most easily by setting the example. Reading books to their young children not only is a way to spend quality time together and build lasting memories, but it also sets the foundation for communication and reading skills that will be needed when the child begins their education. Hearing a book read helps develop speech and word recognition as well as patterns involved in communicating. Even a very young infant can recognize the story from a favorite book.
Young children recognize repetition and patterns in stories and eagerly anticipate when they will occur often jumping in to interrupt and fill it in on their own!
If there are no Reading Incentive programs available in your area this summer, why not start your own ? Perhaps encourage a reading group among your children’s playmates. Track books read by each child this summer with incentives such as a new book, movie tickets or favorite outing? A reading contest involving the whole family can even provide opportunity to discovery new books together as everyone shares something about the books they are reading with one another at supper time or before bed.
Grab a book and snuggle with a child today. The future of your child’s literacy is at stake!