By Denise Gary
Photograph by Denise Gary

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. —Dalai Lama

Kids Need to Read received a generous $2,500 grant from Sundt Foundation to be used toward the 2014–2015 Kids-N-Peace program! The funding has been used to provide books needed to conduct Kids-N-Peace during after school programs at Lowell Elementary School and two Children First Academy campuses. Lowell Elementary serves a low socioeconomic area of Mesa, Arizona, while Children First Academy serves homeless and impoverished children in Phoenix and Tempe, Arizona. Kids Need to Read is providing the schools and children with books and other reading resources, as well as dynamic presentations to inspire a positive, peaceful future through literacy. Children First Academy in Phoenix was also given literacy-themed art prints for the bare walls of their library and headphones for their classroom computer stations (kindly donated by The Learning Tree).

This is the second grant award Kids Need to Read has received from Sundt Foundation, both for the Kids-N-Peace program. “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.”

kids_n_peaceThe 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 sincerely grateful to Sundt Foundation for supporting the Phoenix-area Kids-N-Peace program, as well as to supporters who have provided funds for Peace Packs to be sent to schools across the nation!

Kids-N-Peace Program Information

Kids-N-Peace Funding Partners

American Woodmark Foundation
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


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