Get Your Prescription for Reading Filled

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Now is the time for bookstores interested in participating in the 2002 Prescription for Reading marketing program to sign up and receive promotional kits, along with 200 copies of this year's book, Sylvia Long's Mother Goose, published by Chronicle Books.

The American Booksellers Association, Book Sense, Chronicle Books, Baker & Taylor, and the Pizza Hut® BOOK IT! ® Program have partnered for the largest Prescription for Reading program yet. This year 150,000 free copies of Long's special edition book will be distributed via bookstores between July 1 and December 31. This is a 50 percent increase in the number of distributed titles over last year. Expansion of the program has been possible due to the additional sponsorship of the BOOK IT! Program. (See

Prescription for Reading pairs independent booksellers with healthcare providers to encourage parents and caregivers to read to very young children to ensure a healthy start in life. Booksellers distribute "prescriptions," or coupons, to healthcare providers, who then pass them on to parents and caregivers. The coupons can be redeemed at the participating bookstore for a free copy of Sylvia Long's Mother Goose and a coupon worth $9.99 toward a large Pizza Hut pizza.

Two promotional kits and 200 copies of Sylvia Long's special edition Mother Goose, are available to all storefront bookstore members of ABA for a program fee of $50. Included in each kit are the books, the "prescriptions," Pizza Hut discount coupons, and specially designed posters. The posters have activities for young children printed on the reverse side, including designs and instructions for easy-to-make Popsicle Puppets™ and a Mother Goose picture frame to be distributed to local healthcare providers or used in participating stores. Ordering information for discounted companion toys offered by Chronicle Books for the duration of the program along with ideas for hosting in-store Mother Goose events are also on the posters. Books and kits should be ordered through ABA and will be distributed by Baker & Taylor.

According to Jill Perlstein, ABA's director of marketing services, "this marketing program not only enhances community literacy programs, it attracts consumers to independent bookstores. A survey among the participating bookstores indicates that about half of the consumers visiting bookstores for the free children's book were first-time visitors. Also, one-third of the booksellers reported incremental sales as a result of the visit for the Prescription for Reading program.

The Pizza Hut BOOK IT! Program is the nation's largest reading incentive program. In 17 years, it has reached 277 million children. In 1998, Pizza Hut started BOOK IT! Beginners®, a read-aloud program for preschool children, which is now being used in 30,000 preschool facilities.

Click here to download an order form (pdf format) for the Prescription for Reading kit. For more information, contact Jill Perlstein, ABA's director of marketing services, at (800) 637-0037, ext. 1283 or via e-mail at [email protected].