If you grew up in the 1980s, and you were an avid reader like I was, there’s a good chance you remember Pizza Hut’s Book It Program. How else did ten year olds convince their parents that going out for pizza as frequently as humanly possible was a good idea? This year is the 30th anniversary of the Book It Program, and in celebration, Pizza Hut is reaching out to their alumni from all over the world. In exchange for a few pieces of information – in survey form of course – they will give you a reminder of your youth: a free personal pan pizza.
For you youngsters out there on the internet, Pizza Hut’s Book It Program was launched in 1984 as an answer to then-President Reagan’s call for a reinvestment in education by corporate America. A former Pizza Hut executive had a child who struggled with reading himself, and he wanted to help. The plan he came up with to make a difference to other kids like his own included a poster, a lot of stickers, even more books, and certificates for personal pan pizzas in exchange for completed books. The number of books I read in exchange for stickers on various posters as a kid was impressive, but the Pizza Hut chart was possibly my favorite. Here’s a little more on the history of the program:
Every time I got to slide into that vinyl booth with my siblings and choose my own toppings for my free personal pizza was awesome. Seriously, you haven’t lived until you’ve burned your finger tips on the pan of a personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut. Also, try and remember this program without having a vivid olfactory memory of the scent of a Pizza Hut franchise. Seriously, Subway tries to do that thing with store smells, but Pizza Hut succeeded. I’m seriously considering working up a poster of my own, filling it with stickers, and only going to get my alumni-status pizza when it’s filled.
What was your favorite book as a kid? Tell us in the comments below!
Feature via PBS