Written by Denise Gary and Craig Kyzar
Photographs © Robert Gary

The fall semester is underway and that means Kids Need to Read has been busy preparing for a new year of Reading Revolution, the groundbreaking literacy program for middle school students produced in partnership with Arizona State University and ASU Preparatory Academy, an inner-city charter school serving impoverished children in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. We are really looking forward to the addition of sixth grade students to the program this year. Having an extra year to work with kids to illustrate the power of reading is a luxury we are grateful to have available and will produce exciting results.

Fry’s Fund got the ball rolling with a $2,000 grant to be applied toward Reading Revolution, which Kids Need to Read used to purchase books in support of the three-year program, currently in its second year at ASU Preparatory Academy. Fry’s Food Stores (Fry’s, Kroger, Fred Meyer) exhibit a strong commitment to community service, as evidenced by their extensive annual giving. The family of food stores contributes “more than $220 million annually in funds, food and products to support local communities.” Literacy and schools are a priority of the company, as are food banks, women’s health, United States troops, and the advancement of women and minorities.

Kids Need to Read and Arizona State University have been working together with educators at ASU Preparatory Academy to develop a uniquely interactive program that introduces disadvantaged middle school students to a highly engaging educational experience, while teaching them, first-hand, the impact of reading on every aspect of life. Linking literacy skills to science, math, and social studies, Reading Revolution immerses students in a world of literary experiences through a series of innovative study units that supplement existing curricula with a multi-media array of books, eBooks, online games, live author presentations, literacy circles, and exciting projects. Study units range from imaginative science fiction and fantasy-themed projects to the evaluation of conflict resolution, productive means of overcoming adversity, embracing positive life paradigms, and cultivating a healthy respect for all people.

Standardized Galileo and AIMS test results administered during the 2011-2012 pilot program at ASU Preparatory Academy indicated tremendous gains in literacy skills among the children served. Participating students outpaced the general school population in reading skill improvement by as many as nine percentage points in some classes, placing many formerly failing students within reach of meeting or exceeding the state average within one year. 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 and Arizona State University sincerely thank Fry’s Fund 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
American Woodmark Foundation
Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation
Avnet Contributions Council
Employees Community Fund of Boeing Arizona
Fry’s Fund
John F. Long Foundation
National Home Library Foundation

Reading Revolution Program Information

Comments

One Response to “Fry’s Fund Awards $2,000 to KNTR “Reading Revolution””

  1. Kristen on November 8th, 2012 11:21 am

    Wonderful news for this amazing program. 🙂

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