Dion’s Pizza details summer reading program

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. β€” Summer is coming fast and a popular local pizza chain is giving kids some incentive to read while school is out.

“Kids put a lot into learning how to read throughout the school year and what can sometimes happen is that they go home for the summer and they are not reading as often and they slide back. So when they go back to school in the fall, they can fall a little bit behind,” said Deena Crawley, the chief of staff at Dion’s Pizza.

Dion’s and the Albuquerque Isotopes are in the business of pizza and baseball, respectively. This summer, though, their “Club Read” program is making sure kids pick up and read a book or two – or even six.

“They can come to Dion’s and get a club read brochure, fill out their first score card and they’ll tell us the first six books they read. They will turn that into Dion’s and they will get a free slice of pizza for that,” Crawley said.

Six more books read is another home run, which can lead to more prizes, including tickets to an Isotopes game.

After reading 12 books, students will be entered into a grand prize drawing for prizes such as throwing out the first pitch at an Isotopes game and a $50 Dion’s gift card.

It doesn’t have to be complicated, either. Any book will do – even if it’s about pizza.

“We really want to encourage a lifelong love of reading,” Crawley said.

The program is open to kids from preschool through fifth grade. Participating locations include Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Bernalillo, Santa Fe and Los Lunas.

The program runs through July 23.