by Denise Gary
Photographs by Robert Gary

Kids Need to Read had the pleasure of hosting author/illustrator James A. Owen at several middle schools as part of the Reading Revolution program, plus a high school thrown in the mix for good measure.

It was a whirlwind day, with stops at Children First Academy—Phoenix, ASU Preparatory Academy—Phoenix, Mountain Pointe High School—Phoenix (not photographed), and Children First Academy—Tempe.

The program also served as an introduction to the new Kids-N-Peace program, an expansion of Reading Revolution to include elementary school, as well as middle school students.

The focus of the presentation was on perseverance, the power of positive thought, and the consequences of the choices we make in life.

Children First Academy—Phoenix:

ASU Preparatory Academy—Phoenix:

Children First Academy—Tempe:

The highlight of the program was an incredible drawing presentation featuring Mr. Owen’s inspirational challenges to the students!

Mr. Owen continually engaged the children as he drew, relating the choices made in drawing to the choices made in life.

The students were mesmerized by the presentation, with teachers astonished at how well Mr. Owen held the attention of the older students.

There were even spontaneous standing ovations by individual students moved by the program.

All participating students received copies of Mr. Owen’s book, Drawing Out the Dragons: A Meditation on Art, Destiny, and the Power of Choice.

Many students were also thrilled to have their books signed by the affable author.

It was an amazing visit . . . one that will stay with the students for a very long time, if not forever.

Thank you to Mr. James A. Owen for sharing so much of his wisdom with kids and adults looking for assistance in navigating the challenges of life.

Photo Gallery: Reading Revolution: Drawing Out the Dragons Presentation with James A. Owen
Reading Revolution Program Information
Kids-N-Peace Program Information

Reading Revolution Funding Partners

American Woodmark Foundation
Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation
Avnet Contributions Council
Cardinals Charities
Employees Community Fund of Boeing Arizona
Fry’s Fund
John F. Long Foundation
National Home Library Foundation
Otto & Edna Neely Foundation
Walmart Foundation
Weyerhaeuser Giving Fund


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