JONESTOWN, Pa. (WHTM) – John Rizzo, principal at Jonestown Elementary School, walked into a classroom on Wednesday and the kids shouted “Batman!”

Since 1989, Pizza Hut and the Library of Congress have challenged principals across the country to become shining examples for literacy. Principals are challenged to choose one day to read their heart out – from the first bell to the last – during National Young Readers Week.

In celebration of the week that runs Nov. 7-11, Rizzo is dressing as Batman to get children excited. He’s visiting their classrooms all week, and on Tuesday he held a special event where he read to all classes from the roof of the school.

The program is designed to raise awareness around the importance of reading.

“We try to develop lifelong learners, especially lifelong learners of books and reading,” Rizzo said.

The Pizza Hut “Book It!” program says a child spends 900 hours a year in school and 7,800 hours outside of school. They say young adults spend 2.23 hours a day watching TV and only 12 minutes reading.

The program believes the single most important activity for building the knowledge required for success in reading is reading aloud to children.

Rizzo said his passion for reading to children won’t end Friday. He’ll continue dressing as Batman and reading to the kids all year long so he can work alongside teacher and parent superheroes and help build the next generation of great readers.Get breaking news, weather and traffic on the go. Download our News App and our Weather App for your phone and tablet.