By Denise Gary
Photographs © Denise Gary and Bruce Matsunaga

Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation has awarded Kids Need to Read with a $5,000 grant to be used toward Reading Revolution, our pilot program aimed at increasing literacy rates and decreasing dropout rates among middle school students. Kids Need to Read and Arizona State University have been working together with educators at ASU Preparatory Academy to develop the innovative program, which launched in September.

The funds provided by Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation will be used to produce the second year of programming at ASU Preparatory Academy in downtown Phoenix. While incoming seventh grade students will be provided the programming instituted this past school year, eighth grade students will be presented with an entirely new curriculum to expand upon the success of their first year in the program. The students have become quite familiar with me and KNTR Chairman Dr. James Blasingame, as we regularly return to the school to enthusiastically present books and literacy programs for the kids. After each program, many students stay behind to talk to us, always with smiles! They know we care by our continuous presence and multiple gifts of books. Learning that someone “out there” cares deeply about each student’s reading success is an eye-opening experience for some adolescents and can be a huge motivational factor when paired with great teaching. They will be seeing a lot more of us, thanks to Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation!

Future plans call for the expansion of this pilot program throughout the United States in middle schools seeking to inspire their students with cutting-edge approaches to literacy improvement and reduced dropout rates.

Kids Need to Read, in addition to other award winners, will be treated to a special reception and on-field recognition when the Arizona Diamondbacks host the Atlanta Braves on Saturday, April 21. Community Affairs Director, Maxine Royer, wrote in a letter to KNTR:

. . . we appreciate the tremendous contribution Kids Need to Read makes to our community and we look forward to seeing you and celebrating your organization.

We are very excited to be honored during this celebration, and hope many of you will come enjoy the ceremony and game with us.

Kids Need to Read and Arizona State University sincerely thank Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation for their assistance in funding Reading Revolution for the children of ASU Preparatory Academy and the many others who will be impacted by this program in the future.

Reading Revolution Program Partners

Arizona State University
ASU Preparatory Academy
Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation
Avnet Contributions Council
Carus Publishing
National Home Library Foundation
Skype Limited

Learn more about Reading Revolution:

Related Blog: KNTR Awarded Avnet Contributions Council Grant

Related Blog: KNTR Receives National Home Library Foundation Grant

Related Blog: Reading Revolution: Stupendous Student Softwire Presentation

Related Blog: KNTR and ASU Youth Literacy Initiative Kickoff was “Out of this World”

Related Blog: Kids Sign Reading Pledge Pumpkins at ASU Prep Fall Festival

Press Release: Kids Need to Read and Arizona State University Launch Innovative Youth Literacy Program

Video: Student Softwire Presentation at ASU Preparatory Academy, Part 1

Video: Student Softwire Presentation at ASU Preparatory Academy, Part 2

Video: Aliens Land at ASU Preparatory Academy


2 Responses to “Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation Awards KNTR $5,000 Grant”

  1. Kristen on February 9th, 2012 3:13 pm

    Fantastic news! Congratulations!

  2. Denise Gary on February 10th, 2012 6:09 pm

    Thank you, Kristen!

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