HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Instead of asking children if they want fries with their burger, one Hattiesburg restaurant from now on might ask, "do you want a book with that?"
The Burger King on Broadway Drive is the first Hub City eatery to provide a reading lounge and free books for children as part of the new "Hattiesburg Reads" program.
On Friday, restaurant owners, as well as city officials and representatives from The University of Southern Mississippi, William Carey University, Hattiesburg Public Schools and the Area Development Partnership gathered to cut a ribbon for the lounge, which includes a bookshelf and a table.
"You hear this thing about Reading is Fundamental, that's not a cliche'," said Johnny Dupree, mayor of Hattiesburg. "(Burger King franchisees) really understand how important reading is and literacy in America is, especially today."
"We just saw it as a great opportunity to give something back to the community and allow them to come in and read," said Colin Brooks, managing director of Brooks Restaurants, Inc. "We recently remodeled this restaurant, so we thought it was a great location."
City officials hope other restaurants will take part in the program.