BookIt! Celebrates 30th Birthday by Launching an Alumni Program

If you haven't heard of BookIt!, it's a program to encourage grade school students to read. Beginning in October each year, BookIt! challenges students to set monthly reading goals for six months. When they reach them, they are awarded Pizza Hut Personal Pan Pizzas. 

I loved this program as a kid and I love it even more as an educator. Reluctant readers can fall in love with reading, if they find the right book. BookIt! motivates students to read lots of books and thereby helps introduce them to a variety of genres and topics. 

Each year, BookIt! steps up their game by adding to their toolkit. Educators will find mazes, reading logs, and even lesson plans on the BookIt! website to help them incorporate the program into their classes. This year, the website paired with author of the Wimpy Kid series, Jeff Kinney, to create short video stories just for BookIt!. 

BookIt! didn't stop there. Over the years, the program has incorporated challenges like Give Me 20, which calls on students to read for 20 minutes every school day for a week straight. 

They also promote National Young Reader's week through the Principal's Challenge, which tasks principals to read for an entire school day. 

Over the years, principals have taken this challenge to the next level and staked out reading spots in the most unlikely places, such as firetrucks and flag poles. This year, principals can win 101 copies of Jeff Kinney's ninth Wimpy kid book for entering the challenge.

BookIt! also raises donations to fight world hunger through their Read Your Heart Out For Hunger program. Students pledge reading goals and collect donations from family and friends when they reach their marks.  

BookIt! will also land one lucky kid a ride to college. Participants who reach their reading goals every month can enter the BookIt! Fairy Tale giveaway, which awards one reader 30k for college.

BookIt! is celebrating 30 years of promoting youth literacy by launching an alumni program. The simple online registration page asks a few questions about where the participant attended grade school and their chosen profession. Once registration is complete, a map of all BookIt! alumni is displayed. You can also follow BookIt! on Twitter at: #BOOKITKid.

According to the BookIt!, 60 million students have participated in their program since it's inception in 1984. That means one in five of us is alumni and possess stories about the program that can promote literacy when shared. 

Reasons you should register as BookIt! alumni: 

  • Registering is a great way to say thank you to BookIt! for giving you free pizza and introducing you to lots of books when you were a kid. They didn't have to do any of that and you know it made your day when you traded in your certificate for a delicious Personal Pan Pizza.

  • BookIt! is still going strong. Registering as alumni is a way that you can spread the message and help promote literacy in a few minutes. 

  • After registering, you can share about your experiences with your children (nieces, nephews, neighbors' kids--you get the idea) and motivate them to participate in the program. Take it a step farther and share what you are reading now to show that you didn't quit reading when you stopped getting pizza for doing it. 

What do you get in return? You get to revel in your past BookIt! success and promote a lifelong love of the written word simultaneously.

Lastly, it's BookIt!'s birthday. What kind of childhood friend would you be if you didn't grant their birthday wish for lots of registered alumni? And it's not just any birthday, it's BookIt's 30th birthday. Some of us already know how much that milestone sucks.

On behalf of the BookIt! alumni in my household, happy birthday, BookIt! You rock!

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