By Denise Gary
Photographs © Robert Gary

I like to think of KNTR books as small embers. Each one has the potential to erupt into a bright flame for a kid that I will never meet. I love that idea – of indirectly changing the life of someone I will never know. But on occasion, I do get the opportunity to meet and talk with kids who are the beneficiaries of our books, and from my view point, it is always a special moment in time. This past summer, I was able to chat with six teen moms earning their GEDs at Child and Family Resources’ dropout recovery program in Phoenix, Arizona. These young mothers are determined to make a better life for themselves and their children through education.

We talked about the meaning of leadership and how it applies to everyone’s life.

The program focused on the use of books to shape a person’s future. I explained how the book, Architects of Peace: Visions of Hope in Words and Images, strengthened my perspective on life and leadership, and how the students can benefit by reading the thoughts of the world’s great leaders of peace.

A print of Power, Tony Parker’s KNTR 2012 calendar contribution, served as the backdrop of the program. The art piece depicts a comic hero voraciously reading stacks of books while sitting underneath the words “Knowledge is Power” carved into his stone chair – a powerful message indeed!

Every student received a copy of Architects of Peace, written by Michael Collopy. They started reading their books as soon as they were placed in their hands.

The program closed out with a question and answer session. It soon became clear that the young ladies in the group were dedicated to creating a love of reading in their kids. The amazing, living packages called children are the future of our world; books are the magic wands needed to unlock their special gifts.


2 Responses to “Leadership through Literacy: Teen Moms Meet KNTR”

  1. Kareemah Hadi on May 3rd, 2012 4:06 pm

    This website and photos are incredibly beautiful and inspirational. It is also my Divine Purpose to work with young mothers teaching them numerous skills designed to educate and empower them as individuals, mothers and wives. I strongly believe that if a young woman understands her unique significant value and role for humanity and the family, she will impart the love, self esteem and guidance necessary throughout the world for a future of peace, unity and optimum well being for all. Is there any way that I may get copies of the photos to use for my personal inspiration? God bless you with continued great success. For you are a Blessing to the world.
    Kareemah Hadi

  2. Denise Gary on May 13th, 2012 12:49 am

    Kareemah, you may save the photos directly from the blog by right clicking on each image and selecting “Save Image As.” If you post the photos publicly, we ask that you please credit Kids Need to Read and the photographer, Robert Gary. We wish you the best in your work with young mothers. We too believe in “a future of peace, unity and optimum well being.”

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