Pizza Hut and Todd Gurley tackle childhood literacy


Todd Gurley and Pizza Hut are joining forces to promote a fundamental lesson that everyone needs to further their success and it starts with a good book.

While Todd Gurley can make impressive plays on the gridiron, but the foundation for everyone’s success starts with a good book. This Pizza Hut partnership looks to promote that ideal.

Announced on Giving Tuesday, Pizza Hut and Gurley are using their platforms to put the focus on childhood literacy. From in store promotions to Gurley’s choice of NFL’s My Cause My Cleats initiative, hopefully more kids can score a win for more proficient literacy skills.

35 years ago, Pizza Hut launched its BOOK IT! Program. So many kids have proudly presented their long list of books read at a Pizza Hut store. That accomplishment earned them a Pizza Hut reward.

Unfortunately, 25 million kids in the U.S. are not proficient in reading. This skill isn’t just for the mastering a school class or acing a standardized test. Reading is essential for a fulfilled life. Hopefully, this initiative can put the focus back on the books and away from the devices.

Pizza Hut and Todd Gurley tackle childhood literacy, First Book Bundle, photo provided by Pizza Hut

As part of today’s launch, there are multiple activations in this campaign. First, Gurley is using his platform to champion the cause. At the December 16 Rams home game, Gurley will wear custom-designed Nike cleats as part of the NFL’s My Cause My Cleats program. “The cleats feature Todd’s children’s book of choice, “The Magician’s Hat” written by fellow NFL player Malcolm Mitchell, and Pizza Hut partner First Book, a nonprofit dedicated to creating equal access to quality education for children in need.”

While wearing a pair of cleats might not seem to have a huge impact, this choice can reach younger admirers. Seeing a professional athlete champion a cause brings the topic to the forefront of the conversation. Maybe a child will be less afraid to ask for reading help or to grab a book (instead of a device). Seeing a popular athlete believing in the importance of reading can make books fun in the eyes of more people.

In addition to Gurley’s efforts, Pizza Hut locations will offer a special The First Book Bundle Deal. This limited time offer has $1 of the purchase donated to The First Book. By supporting literacy, pizza fans can order the bundle, which includes two large three-topping pizzas and breadsticks for $20.99.

Seeing both Pizza Hut and Todd Gurley bringing a voice to this often overlooked issue is inspiring. While touchdowns and pizzas can be entertaining topics, it is refreshing to see brand use their voice to better the community.

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Maybe this weekend, the whole family can order a Pizza Hut’s The First Book Bundle Deal and read a good book after dinner. After all, if Todd Gurley didn’t study his play book diligently, he wouldn’t be able to outsmart that defensive line.