By Denise Gary
Photographs © Denise Gary

Although he carried a PowerPoint remote rather than a trumpet, KNTR Chairman Dr. James Blasingame (AKA Dr. B) presented the middle school students of ASU Preparatory Academy with a royal introduction to the new books they will enjoy as part of the continuing Kids Need to Read “Reading Revolution” program.

Reading Revolution, produced in partnership with Arizona State University and educators at ASU Preparatory Academy, and supported by several private foundations, aims to increase literacy skills and decrease dropout rates among disadvantaged adolescents. For the second semester of study under the program, Kids Need to Read purchased hardcover class sets of twelve titles for English language arts literacy circles with funds provided by National Home Library Foundation. The books will help inspire students to overcome adversity and to seek peaceful conflict resolutions, while correlating to their studies of World War II during social studies classes. It was these books Dr. B introduced to the seventh and eighth grade students at the downtown Phoenix charter school.

Dr. B, Director of English Education at Arizona State University, introduced himself to the students throughout the auditorium before his presentation. The students really enjoyed interacting with the affable English professor.

Dr. B is a highly animated and gifted storyteller.

He expertly described each book, holding the attention of every student and adult in the auditorium.

The kids groaned every time Dr. B left them hanging with the words, “But you will have to read the book.” At the end of his presentation, the first question was, “How can we get the books?” Of course, Kids Need to Read had provided class sets of each wonderful book to the school.

ASU Preparatory Academy middle school English teacher Andrea Enger is working wonders incorporating Reading Revolution books and program goals into the school’s curriculum. Preliminary tests indicate significant reading score increases among students impacted by the program.

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. We are grateful to the many generous partners who share our devotion to raising literacy rates not only in our community but across the nation.

Reading Revolution Program Partners

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

Learn more about Reading Revolution:

Related Blog: Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation Awards KNTR $5,000 Grant

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

Photo Gallery: ASU Preparatory Academy: Dr. B Introduces New Books

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


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