by Denise Gary
Photographs © Robert Gary

It isn’t enough to talk about peace, one must believe it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it, one must work for it. –Eleanor Roosevelt

Kids Need to Read received a generous $2,000 grant award from Fry’s Fund to be used toward the Kids-N-Peace program! The funding came in the midst of the fall semester and was instrumental in the provision of books vital to the program at Children First Academy in Tempe, Arizona. Kids Need to Read is producing the program for the academy’s entire student body (K-8) in partnership with the school counselor and administrators. The school serves homeless and impoverished children for which Kids Need to Read is honored to provide inspiration and visualization of a positive future through the power of books.

This is the second grant award Kids Need to Read has received from Fry’s Fund, having previously been provided a $2,000 gift for the Reading Revolution program. 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, among others. Kids Need to Read was congratulated in a letter from Keith Shoemaker, Vice President, Operations:

Your cause is commendable and we are proud to support the services you are providing our community.

The Kids-N-Peace program is designed to support literacy education, as well as help students cope with bullying, learn peaceful conflict resolution techniques, and develop effective leadership skills. The Peace Packs Book Collection is the backbone of Kids-N-Peace, which also features related activities and live presentations to fulfill the goals of the program. According to, approximately 160,000 teens skip school every day because of bullying, and one out of ten students ultimately drops out due to repeated bullying. The issues of bullying, school violence, and lack of peaceful leadership skills are pervasive menaces to children and experience has taught that self-empowerment through education is the key to breaking the cycle of violence.

We are most grateful to Fry’s Fund for supporting the Phoenix-area Kids-N-Peace program, as well as to those of you who have provided funds for Peace Packs to be sent to schools across the nation! Everyone can help expand this initiative by donating directly to KNTR Peace Packs or through the purchase of unique copper bookmarks designed especially for Kids Need to Read by Marisa Grieco, Urban Blacksmith.

Kids-N-Peace Program Information

Kids-N-Peace Funding Partners

East Quogue Elementary School Students
Elephants Remember
Employees Community Fund of Boeing Arizona
Fry’s Fund
John F. Long Foundation
Mesa Host Lions Club
Sundt Foundation
Weyerhaeuser Giving Fund


Leave a Reply