A lot of parents probably have the fond memory as a kid of reading and earning a free personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut. Well, guess what? The Pizza Hut BOOK IT! Program is still a thing and several Pattonville elementary schools participate in the program. In fact, there are several reading programs available to students, including ones through the St. Louis County Library and Six Flags.
“Those incentives are super nice and the kids love getting anything as a reward,” Willow Brook Elementary librarian Ms. Jennifer Bober said.
The St. Louis County Library just kicked off its Winter Reading Challenge on Dec. 1, and Six Flags launched the Read to Succeed program on Nov. 1 that encourages students in grades K-6 to read for fun. Students that complete six hours of recreational reading earn a free ticket to Six Flags. The programs are available at no cost to participate, but might require registration.
Bober said the students at Willow Brook don’t necessarily need the prizes as a reason to read though.
“We usually don't have to encourage them, they love reading, they love books,” she said. “It's a matter of maybe letting them have a little more over the break so that they have more to read.”
All classes like Ms. Natalie Alvarez's first grade class visit the school's library once a week and Bober does a lesson with them and provides time to check out some books.
“From second grade and up, they can come down and check out books whenever they want,” she said. “They just type in their five-digit number and scan their books and they can come and go as they please. They just return their books on the yellow carts when they’re done and they can get some more.”
Bober said reading is perfect year-round and especially during the winter months.
“They could be traveling and a book is their best bet for entertainment, imagination and information. They could read it anywhere at anytime so it's always that go-to activity.”
So if you have a hungry bookworm or a rollercoaster-loving reader, have them visit their school’s library and start earning some free meals and thrills.