More than 500,000 people participated in last week’s America’s Biggest Bedtime Story, an annual event created by Pizza Hut’s Book It! program. The record-setting webcast was boosted by Grammy-nominated pop star Justin Bieber, who read from his favorite childhood book, “The Cat in the Hat.”

Bieber’s participation helped the program more than double last year’s turnout, and activated a $25,000 donation from Pizza Hut to Pencils of Promise, an organization that works to enable education for underserved children in developing countries.

This year’s event coincided with the release of Bieber’s new movie, “Never Say Never,” and fans were able to download a pair of his signature purple 3-D sunglasses to their Facebook profile to trigger an additional charity donation.

Downloads of the "Read in Style with Bieber" application brought the total charity donation from Pizza Hut to Pencils of Promise to $35,000.

"This year's America's Biggest Bedtime Story event was our most successful event to date," said Chris Fuller, director of public relations at Pizza Hut. "In partnership with one of today's hottest pop stars, we were able to bring the joy of reading into homes and classrooms across the country and make a contribution to a wonderful organization.”

Due to popular demand, the webcast hosted by the teen celeb was extended past the original Feb. 18 end date.
In 1985, Pizza Hut established the Book It! National Reading Incentive Program to motivate children to read more and help them develop a lifelong love of reading.

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