Having devoured the books, avid young bookworms from across the North Island had their appetite for pizza satisfied when Hell’s Caravan Tour stopped by their towns in July.
The journey was part of Hell’s sponsorship of the 2014 LIANZA Children’s Book Awards, where the Caravan visited selected small towns that don’t have a Hell store.
The initiative included distributing 100,000 ‘8-Book Pizza Wheels’ to schools and libraries nationwide. Kids just needed to read eight books and have them recorded on their wheel to be rewarded with a healthy ‘333 Kids’ Pizza’.
The Tour started in Taranaki’s Opunake, Statford, Hawera and Patea, then visited Levin and Wanganui. Over the five-day journey, a total of 500 pizzas were claimed by hungry bibliophiles – a “tremendous result” for child literacy, said South Taranaki District Council librarian Pamela Jones.
“We have been staggered by the response. Children and families we have never seen in the Hawera library before are spending hours here, reading, choosing books, doing our activities and getting to know the librarians.”
To read more on Taranaki’s Caravan tour, click here
---------------- Come Hell or high water ----------------
The big guy in the sky stacked the odds against the Caravan Tour getting the job done in Northland in the following week, unleashing the worst storms and flooding seen in decades.
Despite road closures and long delays, the Hell Whangarei team made it to Kaikohe, Keri Keri, Kaitaia and Dargaville, where around 200 kids wasted no time exchanging their wheel for a pizza prize.
“Our patrons absolutely loved it,” said Proctor Librarian Roxanne Harrison (Keri Keri). It was well organised, the promo stuff was awesome and fantastically run on the day – also, the pizzas were amazing (as always)!
-------- Caravan Tour shines on East Coast --------
The East Coast leg ran on the same week as Northland’s Tour, drawing large crowds of keen readers in Wairoa, Gisborne, Whakatane and Te Puke.
Around 400 kids had their reading efforts rewarded with pizza and the overall promotion was judged a great success by East Coast librarians.
“Who would have thought this alignment would encourage kids to read great books and eat healthy food? It’s not that far-fetched; after all, many adults can imagine themselves curled up with a good book, chocolate and a glass of wine – the kids are definitely getting in more vegies!” says H B Williams Memorial Library manager Pene Walsh, of Gisborne.
“When the Hell Pizza Caravan came to Gisborne to honour the children’s reading challenge with free pizza, we were thrilled, as we were resigned to thinking the provinces might miss out.
“There is no Hell store in Gisborne, yet every child and teenager knew exactly who they were and were desperate to complete their eight reading challenges before the caravan arrived.
“HB Williams Memorial Library has a policy of serving only healthy kai at any events, so the LIANZA partnership with Hell Pizza meant that not only were the children happy but their parents were on board with the challenges, too.
“The visit to Gisborne was so successful, the Hell Caravan is coming back!
To read more on the tour, please click here.