PDT Staff Writer
The Portsmouth Public Library now has an additional 1,000 children's books after the local Pizza Hut stores won a national contest involving volunteer work.
“We had over 1,000 hours of volunteer time donated to the library,” Pizza Hut Marketing Director Donna Kerecz said.
People volunteered a variety of services to the library, including storytelling, guitar lessons and cheerleading clinics.
The Portsmouth, Wheelersburg and New Boston Pizza Hut stores participated in the contest sponsored by Book It! and Scholastic Magazine.
Book It! is a literacy program that encourages reading among school-aged children.
The local stores were competing with 7,000 Pizza Hut stores nationwide in the contest.
The $10,000 worth of books will be distributed throughout the main library, its branches and the Bookmobile.
Workers were unloading the books on Monday as the library had a celebration on the front lawn with entertainment.
The books are for children from kindergarten through sixth grades.
“You talk about a community supporting the library and this program,” PPL Publicity Coordinator Jenny Lavender said. “They came from all over. You would not believe the programs now that we will be offering because the community donated that one hour of time. Actually, with the new schools, we exceeded that 1,000 hours.”
Volunteers can choose which library branch they want to perform their service. The PPL is still accepting volunteers, even though the contest is over.
Lavender said Pizza Hut could have chosen anyone to benefit through the contest.
“I think they felt that we could reach more people through all the branches,” she said.
JEFF BARRON can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 236.