When I was a kid, reading was one of my favorite past times. I remember reading books series like Ramona the Pest, Goosebumps and Fear Street to name a few. I could read an entire book in few hours without any incentive whatsoever. I was a member of RIF (Reading is Fundamental) and the Pizza Hut Book of the month club during my early childhood. In middle school my book reading efforts were rewarded with a trip to the Michael Jordan restaurant two years in a row.I can't recall whether or not I was in a reading club in high school, but I read plenty of books nevertheless. I guess that may be why I'm now a two time published author.... well of short stories at least.
I'm sure by now you all are wondering what this has to do with Chicagoland kids and Meatheads right? For those of you who are unaware, Meatheads Burgers & Fries is a local family restaurant that serves the Chicagoland area with seven locations. Through its Voracious Reading program, it has empowered over 60,000 kids to read books. The program rewards children ages 6-13 with either a free kids meal or burger for each five books read per 30 days. It actually ended today for this summer, but you should definitely keep an eye out on Meatheads Burgers and Fries and their community initiatives.
For more information on the Voracious Reading program and to print out the Voracious Reading Certificate click here
I really hope to see more programs like this around especially as my daughter becomes old enough to read. A lot of parents rely on the school system as the sole source of education for their children. That should never be the case. I commend Meatheads Burgers & Fries for this initiative. Please stop by, try the food and encourage your children to read book. After all, there's nothing wrong with a free meal every now and then, right?
In addition to the Voracious Reading program, Meathead Burgers and Fries also has the following community partnerships in place:
Meathead of the Game: Meatheads celebrates young athletes in organized sports who choose to participate in real games, rather than play video games and is designed to reward Determination, Hustle and Hard Work in local youth athletes. In 2011 30,000 kids participated in this program, so far in 2012 more than 50,000 kids have already participated!
On-site Fundraising: Meatheads offers non-profit groups, schools and other community organizations the opportunity to raise funds by having a fundraiser at a local Meatheads store. As of June 2012, Meatheads has donated more than $6,000 to local community organizations through this program, alone.