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A national summer-reading program announced last week by U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley has a simple message for children: Read books, eat free pizza.

The program, READ*WRITE*NOW, encourages children to meet with adult reading partners two or more times a week, read for 20 minutes a day, and perform writing and drawing activities. It is expected to reach about 230,000 youngsters, from preschool to 6th grade.

Upon completing the program's reading and writing goals, participants will receive certificates and coupons for free Pizza Hut pizzas. Mr. Riley said last week that 90 percent of 3rd and 4th graders have not read a book or story at home in six months.

To receive a READ*WRITE*NOW kit, call 1-800-USA-LEARN.

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