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SALT LAKE CITY — More than 9,000 families in the last month have done a lot of two things: reading with their kids and eating free pizza.
That's how many families took the Read Today Pizza pledge. KSL's reading initiative encouraged families to read together for several days during October. Papa Murphy's provided the incentive with a free large pizza.
Many families appreciated the combination.
"Free pizza? Yea!" said Grandma Karen, whose grandchildren attend Whittier Elementary. "We read every night. I think it's very important to show them they can apply themselves."
Her granddaughter Alia enjoyed the bonding time and the reading critiques from grandma. "You read really slow. Don't read so fast because then you'll make a lot of mistakes," recounted the third grader.
Educators also appreciated the challenge, because they said anything that helps get parents involved in their kids' reading makes a big difference.
"It's so important," said Debbie Dallon, Whittier's AmeriCorp reading coordinator. "A lot of these kids aren't reading on grade level and one-on-one time helps a lot."
So many families at Whittier Elementary took the Pizza Pledge, Read Today celebrated with, what else, more pizza. Kids squealed with delight as a surprise cheesy aroma filled their classroom and Papa Murphy's served up hot slices.
Franchise owner Jared McDougal said providing 9,000 free pizzas was a commitment they were happy to honor. "We got a lot of our coupons redeemed," he said. "One of our main goals was to get involved in the community and we thought this was a great way to do it."