Pizzaiolo Sean Dempsey Honored for Turning Youngsters into Readers

  • Sean Dempsey, who owns Dempsey’s Restaurant & Brewpub and Hazard von Dempsey’s Pizza + Brewhaus, began the Learn by the Slice program to present again to the neighborhood and encourage extra youngsters to learn.
  • The South Dakota Library Affiliation confirmed its appreciation not too long ago by giving Dempsey its statewide Buddy of the Library Award.

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When U.S. Pizza Crew (USPT) member Sean Dempsey isn’t slapping out pizza dough and successful culinary competitions, you possibly can most likely discover him curled up with ebook. Or, no less than, listening to 1. Now he’s obtained an award plaque to place atop his bookshelf, due to a studying program he gives for teenagers in Watertown, South Dakota.

Dempsey is the proprietor of Dempsey’s Restaurant & Brewpub in Watertown in addition to Hazard von Dempsey’s Pizza + Brewhaus in Aberdeen, South Dakota. Understandably, discovering time to learn isn’t as straightforward for him because it was once. However he began a program that motivates Watertown youngsters to find the broad and great world of books, and this system not too long ago earned him a Buddy of the Library Award from the South Dakota Library Affiliation.

Known as Learn by the Slice, this system is obtainable by means of the Watertown Regional Library and aimed toward youngsters in grades Okay-8. For every baby, one hour of studying earns one free slice of pizza, and eight hours wins an entire 8” pizza.

“We began this program within the spring of 2021, and final 12 months we awarded 288 pizzas for 344,000 minutes of studying,” Dempsey stated. “Our purpose is to double this.”

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Dempsey accepts his Buddy of the Library award.

He additionally needs to increase the studying program to Aberdeen in 2023.

As a baby, Dempsey took half in studying packages like Pizza Hut’s E book It! However that program, he famous, “had been lengthy gone, so I form of thought it was time to create our personal. I’ve some fairly kick-ass dough, and children love pizza. Win-win.”

“It’s a reasonably sick program,” Dempsey added. “My authentic purpose was trying to increase our neighborhood outreach, and since I spent a whole lot of time as a child within the library, I assumed that might be an important place to do one thing. The unique plan was for silently and slowly sponsoring books, the place we’d ‘purchase’ a ebook off the wants record and they’d shelve it, however I figured that wasn’t actually sufficiently big.”

The Learn by the Slice program turned out to be sufficiently big to impress librarians from throughout the state. However Dempsey didn’t know the award was meant for him till he arrived on the South Dakota Library Affiliation Conference. “They instructed me I used to be invited as a part of the Watertown Regional Library Delegation to simply accept the award due to the Learn by the Slice program, not that I used to be getting an award personally because of the work we’ve finished with it,” he recalled.

Dempsey stated he has at all times been an “avid reader.” Whereas he prefers nonfiction historical past and fantasy literature, he additionally likes to “dabble within the larger authors’ works.”

“I’ve been compelled currently to do extra audiobooks than the outdated paper books,” he stated, “however there may be little or no in life that beats a cup of espresso and ebook.”

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