Jun 112014

By Tammy Gray

With school out and some youth having a little too much free time, Jay Begay of Holbrook thought that a summertime Book It reading program would be a perfect way to encourage children to read and reward them for doing so.

The Book It program in Holbrook has traditionally run through the school year, with students tracking time through their teachers and being rewarded with a certificate for a free personal pizza at Pizza Hut for reaching certain milestones. Jay explained that he believes the program will be beneficial during the summer, as well, and contacted his store and regional managers to try to get the program in place for Holbrook area youth.

As a result, young readers can sign up now for the program and log their reading hours to receive a free pizza reward. The number of hours required to receive a reward vary by grade and reading level.

In addition to the Book It program, Jay is working to collect gently used books to distribute to children who might not otherwise have easy access to books.

“There’s a lot of kids I know who like to read, but do not have a lot of access to books,” he said.

He has been scouring yard sales to find books and has set up a donation box at Pizza Hut for anyone who wants to donate used books. So far, donations have been scant, but he is hoping the community will come together and support the program. Jay noted that although the public library is a great resource, not all kids have transportation to get there during the summer months. He is working on a plan to distribute books to children who don’t have regular access to books.

Jay is also in the process of planning a community yard sale and kickoff event to fund the program, and to get readers signed up for Book It. The yard sale is scheduled for the weekend of June 21, with several businesses already signed up to participate. In addition to books, donations of gently used items are also being sought for the yard sale. A donation box has been set up at Pizza Hut in Holbrook, and Jay noted that he will pick up books if needed.

Readers interested in the Book It program can sign up at Pizza Hut in Holbrook or online at www.bookitprogram.com. For more information, or to donate books, contact Jay at (928) 241-4275.