Honda is hoping to introduce more literature into road-trips with the launch of a new app that gives owners access to more than 100 free audiobooks.
The automaker is launching Honda Road Readers (for both Apple and Android devices), a new app to provide free access to children’s audiobooks in order to expose more children to great literature during the estimated four hours they spend in vehicles every week.
“The goal for the Honda Road Readers program is to provide an educational and entertaining alternative to the usual car ride and inspire young listeners to vividly imagine,” said Susie Rossick, Assistant Vice President, Honda/Acura Regional Media and Marketing at American Honda. “This effort is a powerful demonstration of our commitment to the brand’s ‘Power of Dreams’ philosophy by encouraging our customers and their families to dream big together.”
Honda commissioned a survey of more than 1,500 parents of children aged 5 to 16 and discovered that 77% of parents think listening to books or stories read aloud is very important for children’s cognitive development and in their developing listening skills. The survey also revealed that 69% of parents were concerned that their children were spending too much time looking at display screens and not reading enough, leaving them with fewer opportunities to use their imaginations.
With input from the Council of Chief State School Officers, through its Teacher of the Year Program, Honda has acquired a selection of books that are both entertaining and intellectually stimulating. Most are supported with critical-thinking questions aimed at getting parents and children to dive deeper into each story.
“Reading not only boosts academic success but also awakens a person’s social and civic sense,” says Rebecca Mieliwocki, the 2012 National Teacher of the Year and 7th-grade English teacher in Burbank, Calif. “They help us know and be mesmerized by the world around us and give us a sense of how we fit in. Simply put, books change lives for the better.”
Honda owners register for the program at www.hondaroadreaders.com and will then be directed to their respective app stores to download the Honda Road Readers app. Scanning or keying in their 17-character vehicle identification numbers (VIN) will unlock 1-year access to five free audiobooks, starting with Peter Pan, aimed at children 5 to 16 years old.
The app also features 10 rotating featured books recommended by the National Teacher of the Year program, as well as several genres (such as fantasy/adventure, mystery, science fiction and teen titles).
Promotion for the app will come from a social video (on Honda’s various social media feeds) titled “Imagination Inspiration,” featuring bestselling author Jeff Kinney, known for his Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.
“Students learn best when they have enthusiastic teachers, and parents are a child’s first and most important teacher,” concluded Mieliwocki. “Honda Road Readers will help families share the infectious fun of reading together on journeys of the mind, the imagination and the heart.