By Denise Gary
Photographs © Robert Gary & Bruce Matsunaga

Kids Need to Read was invited by Friends of the Phoenix Public Library to help produce a free community event celebrating family literacy and the 35th anniversary of the Friends group. The day was filled with sunshine, books, literacy activities, and laughter!

The event took place at Margaret T. Hance Park, appropriately located next to the beautiful Burton Barr Public Library in Phoenix, Arizona.

The KNTR staff and volunteers were joined by members of the Mesa Host Lions Club, who are promoting childhood literacy this year as part of Lions Club International’s Reading Action Program.

Kids Need to Read provided free backpacks filled with a book and age-appropriate magazine (Highlights, Cricket, or Cicada) to all children in attendance. The Mesa Host Lions and KNTR volunteers stuffed 2,500 backpacks for Kids Need to Read prior to the event!

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton welcomed event attendees.

The event featured a presentation by children’s author/illustrator Steven Riley (Little Ty Cooney and the Grand Canyon Tour Company). Steven is always a crowd favorite! One lady remarked to me, “He is so cute; I want to take him home with me.”

Members of Arizona Avengers and Justice League Arizona came out to support the cause.

Other guests included OneBookAZ author Lynda Exley (Arizona Way Out West & Witty)

Johnny “JR” Ringo

Mad Science

Kids enjoyed riding a train, climbing a rock wall, and many other activities provided by various community partners.

It was a truly wonderful celebration of reading topped off with smiles!

Lots more fantastic photos can be seen in the KNTR Phoenix Library Friends 35th Anniversary Family Literacy Festival Photo Gallery.

Kids Need to Read would like to thank Friends of the Phoenix Public Library for inviting our organization to be a part of their celebration, as well as the generous event sponsors listed below. For their part in assisting Kids Need to Read directly, we extend our sincere gratitude to author Steven Riley, author Frank Beddor, author Jeanne McNaney, Komikwerks Publishing, Highlights for Children, Carus Publishing, Arizona Avengers, Justice League Arizona, Mesa Host Lions Club, and the KNTR staff and volunteers.

Event Producer
Friends of the Phoenix Public Library

Event Partner
Kids Need to Read

Event Sponsors
First Things First
Helios Education Foundation
Rodel Foundation
SCF Arizona


2 Responses to “Great Fun Celebrating Phoenix Library Friends 35th!”

  1. Honey Apostos on January 24th, 2013 6:53 pm

    That looked FUNtastic.

  2. Denise Gary on January 29th, 2013 12:20 am

    It really was a lot of fun, Honey!

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