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By Denise Gary
Photographs © Robert Gary
It is a rare privilege to be able to personally address a grant-making board to say thank you and describe the progress Kids Need to Read (KNTR) is making due to the company’s generosity, but I recently had the honor to do just that at an Employees Community Fund of Boeing Arizona (ECF) luncheon. Following a site visit earlier this year, ECF provided a $2,500 grant to be used toward “Reading Revolution,” KNTR’s 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.
I was thrilled to receive an invitation to conduct a KNTR presentation for the ECF board and Boeing Arizona employees during a “Lunch and Learn.” Any opportunity to share the work being done on behalf of children’s literacy by Kids Need to Read and its partners is always extremely exciting. Better yet is the chance to illustrate KNTR’s sincere gratitude for the program support it receives from its funding partners. The audience was delightful and enjoyed watching the Reading Revolution video, as well as Nathan Fillion’s KNTR video, the former eliciting kind compliments and the latter producing hearty laughter.
In addition to sharing the literacy-inspiring efforts of KNTR, I also used the occasion to learn more about ECF of Boeing Arizona and how they support their local community. Funds are raised via employee contributions made through payroll deductions. A volunteer Advisory Board comprised of local Boeing employees administers the funds. Funding categories include Health, Education/Community Enrichment, and Social Services.
Kids Need to Read and Arizona State University have been working together with educators at ASU Preparatory Academy to develop a uniquely interactive three-year 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.
Kids Need to Read and Arizona State University sincerely thank Employees Community Fund of Boeing Arizona 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
Reading Revolution Funding Partners
American Woodmark Foundation
Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation
Avnet Contributions Council
Employees Community Fund of Boeing Arizona
John F. Long Foundation
National Home Library Foundation
Weyerhaeuser Giving Fund
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