by Denise Gary
Photographs © Robert Gary and Denise Gary

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has. –Margaret Mead

Kids Need to Read received a generous $1,000 grant award from Sundt Foundation to be used toward the Kids-N-Peace program! The funding was used to provide 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 reading resources, presentations, and inspiration for a positive future through the power of literacy. School counselor Todd Kemmerer recently commented, “The readings have really propelled the kids into talking about bullying and sometimes we spend a whole class period just discussing a paragraph in the book.”

This is the first grant award Kids Need to Read has received from Sundt Foundation and it was especially nice to receive a site visit from a representative of the foundation. “Sundt has a long tradition of helping the communities where its employees live and work. It is well known for supporting charities that provide services to disadvantaged people, including homeless shelters, food banks, etc.”

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 Sundt Foundation 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