First Book recently spoke with Natasha Collins, social impact manager for Pizza Hut. Through April 22, Pizza Hut: The Literacy Project – the company’s global commitment to literacy – and First Book are partnering to enable access to books and educational resources, empower teachers, and inspire a lifelong love of reading. You can add a “topping of literacy” to your Pizza Hut order in-store or online, or make a direct donation, and help get books to kids in need!
First Book: What was your favorite book as a child, and has it had a lasting impact on you?
Natasha Collins: My favorite was To Kill a Mockingbird; the social commentary is as relevant now as it was then. It’s a book that I come back to, and every time I read it I see the story through the lens of a different character. As a young person, I identified with Scout, but now that I’m a parent, I find myself reading it through Atticus’ perspective.
My second favorite is Go, Dog. Go! But I didn’t remember how much I loved it as a child until it became the first book that my daughter read on her own. I can picture her in the car seat reading it word for word.
FB: What inspired Pizza Hut’s commitment to literacy, and what does The Literacy Project mean to Pizza Hut employees?
NC: The Literacy Project was inspired by Pizza Hut’s more than 30-year experience with our BOOK IT! Program. We’ve seen the collective power of one simple program to inspire readers. But we wanted to do more to also empower teachers by getting resources where they are needed.
For the Pizza Hut team, The Literacy Project is much more than a fundraiser – it’s a way to impact people in the communities they serve. Pizza Hut employees want to have a relationship with our customers that has purpose and meaning, and demonstrates what we stand for.
FB: And your favorite pizza topping?
NC: Pepperoni and mushroom.