By BRENNA GRITEMAN
To established book lovers, a program that rewards every six hours spent reading with a bag of gourmet popcorn sounds like a dream come true.
And to parents of children who are on the fence about reading, it sounds like the perfect bribe to get their kids on the right track.
For the second year, all Shirley’s Gourmet Popcorn Co. locations — including Findlay’s — are celebrating National Reading Month with a delicious deal: Pick up a reading log and track your literary pursuits. For every six reading hours logged, take the sheet to the nearest Shirley’s location and pick up a free small bag of popcorn in the flavor of your choice.
Jennifer Swartzlander, owner of the popcorn shop at 1042 Interstate Court, said the offer is open to readers of all ages across all platforms: novels, comic books, magazines, online articles, textbooks or anything else. She said the program has generated an especially positive response from parents whose children aren’t typically too fond of reading. And of course, kids are encouraged to accompany their parents into the store when their logs are being traded for popcorn.
“We get really excited when a child comes in. And then we make a big deal out of their reading,” she said.
Most kids choose the standard movie theater-style popcorn for their reward, although Swartzlander said the confetti-colored “Jelly Bean” is also a popular choice among the young readers.
Last year, the program drew 3,928 total participants from all six Shirley’s locations combined, including more than 900 from Findlay. Readers logged 27,496 total hours of reading, which Swartzlander noted is the equivalent of over three years of reading, nonstop, 24 hours a day.
Readers are limited to turning in one log per day, and the last day to redeem reading logs is April 7.
Logs can be picked up in stores or printed at http://bit.ly/shirleysreadinglog2018 .