Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Help Haiti with America's Biggest Bedtime Story

Psst! Want to hear a story?

Author and Golden Globe-winning actor John Lithgow will read his book "Carnival of the Animals" to anyone who logs onto the Pizza Hut Book It! Program Web site, starting at 9 a.m. (CST) Thursday. The Webcast will be available online until 11:59 p.m. Thursday.

"Carnival of Animals," inspired by a Camille Saint-Saens composition, is the story of a young boy who falls asleep in a natural history museum on a school field trip, and finds his classmates, teachers and family have been transformed into animals.

Lithgow read to us last year and will again this year because a Book It! survey showed half of all American parents don't read to their kids at bedtime. The Book It! folks hope the event encourages a nightly ritual.

Last year, 197,972 people participated. If more people log-on this year, Book It! will donate funds for 50,000 meals to Haiti Relief through the World Food Programme.

As a bonus, participants also can view a last year's Webcast, Lithgow reading his sing-along story, "I Got Two Dogs."

Parents and educators might want to troll around on the program's Web site. It offers a ton of reading encouragement tips by age group, as well as access to games and other activities.

Pizza Hut helped establish the Book It! national reading incentive program in 1985. The hope is that the six-month program for students in kindergarten through sixth grade will motivate children to develop a lifelong love of reading.

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