Prescription for Reading Program to Expand

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ABA has announced that the successful Prescription for Reading program will be expanding to include a number of other organizations providing services for children. These include daycare centers, preschools, nursery schools, independent pharmacies, local Y's, day camps, senior citizen centers, or any organization that serves parents or grandparents of young children. In addition, participating bookstores are being encouraged to reach out to local libraries that might be interest in this program that distributes free books to young readers.

As part of this enhancement, booksellers now have new options for participating in the program.

Bookstores that have already ordered one or more sets of Prescription for Reading materials can build on their efforts in community outreach by purchasing additional sets for only $20. Booksellers who have ordered five sets or more can receive an additional set for no charge upon request.

Bookstores that are ordering for the first time, after August 30, can order the minimum of one set of Prescription for Reading materials for only $25, and can purchase additional sets for $20.

To order, click here to download a form that may be mailed or faxed to ABA or e-mail jill@bookweb.org for further information.

Under the Prescription for Reading program, booksellers distribute "prescriptions," or coupons, to healthcare providers and others in their communities, who then pass them on to parents and caregivers. The coupons can be redeemed at the participating bookstore for both a free copy of the year's exclusive book and a coupon for a savings at Pizza Hut. This year's book is a special edition of Sylvia Long's Mother Goose, published by Chronicle Books. Kits are being shipped to bookstores by Baker & Taylor.

The 2002 Prescription for Reading Program includes a first-time partnership with the Pizza Hut® Book It!® Program. BOOK IT! is the nation's largest reading incentive program. In 17 years, it has reached 277 million children. Last year, 21 million children in 830,000 classrooms in 50,000 schools participated in the BOOK IT! Program.

Jill Perlstein, ABA's director of marketing services, commented to BTW that "Prescription for Reading is a unique program -- one that not only enhances community literacy programs but also attracts consumers to independent bookstores." Perlstein noted that a survey among the participating bookstores revealed that about half of consumers visiting bookstores for the program's free children's book were first-time visitors and added that "one-third of the booksellers reported incremental sales as a result of the visit for the Prescription for Reading program."