By Denise Gary
Photos © Bruce Matsunaga and Denise Gary


What a wonderful partnership Kids Need to Read is enjoying with Arizona Coyotes! The two organizations were introduced by the ever-supportive folks at Phoenix Comicon and since the family friendly hockey club was seeking to support a literacy initiative, everything fell right into place. Arizona Coyotes is sponsoring the KNTR Build-a-Book program with Steven Riley at Phoenix Comicon (May 28–31, 2015) this year and we could not be more excited! In addition to enjoying the highly entertaining interactive program for children, participants will receive special-edition Coyotes backpacks, a hardback book, signed Howler cards, Highlights magazines, and other fun swag, all courtesy of Arizona Coyotes (Highlights magazines contributed by Highlights for Children). Not only that but we will have special appearances by Coyotes mascot Howler in the KNTR booth (5078) on Saturday and Sunday, and will be hosting two special story times with the mischievous Coyote in the KNTR Reading Corner of the Youth Art Room! You will not want to miss this! What a spectacularly fun way to support literacy for the kids attending Phoenix Comicon! We are so excited!


It was during Phoenix Comicon Fan Fest last December that KNTR was first invited to a game at Gila River Arena and met Howler, exuding wily charm and giving out pawtographs to children in his dapper Christmas sweater. Kids Need to Read had such a terrific time handing out reading information, as well as Highlights and Highlights High Five magazines to the young game-goers. What a fantastic time we had in such a super-charged atmosphere!


Arizona Coyotes and Kids Need to Read then got down to some thrilling literacy inspiration at Homeward Bound, a wonderful transition home located in Phoenix, Arizona. The storytelling talents of Steven Riley were introduced to the families of Homeward Bound by the Coyotes and Kids Need to Read, and Mr. Riley’s Little Ty Cooney books were given to the children, all of which was generously sponsored by the Coyotes Hockey Club! It was truly an amazing evening, shared by two organizations with a devotion to helping disadvantaged children.



The event was enthusiastically supported by Coyotes team players Keith Yandle and Mike Stone, along with Keith’s wife Kristyn Yandle, who was instrumental in organizing the event.


The players and Kristyn, along with other members of the Coyotes organization, read aloud to the children, which was a perfect model for the parents in attendance, as consistently reading aloud at home is vital to building high reading proficiency levels among children.


The families were also provided with Highlights magazines, family reading tips, and “reading buddies,” handmade for Kids Need to Read by Cee Cee Creech and her “knitting army” at Elephants Remember Joplin.




Check out this terrific video of the event created by Arizona Coyotes! It was a spectacular evening!


Now Phoenix Comicon is nearly upon us and we are back together with the Coyotes, inspiring a love of reading among the young and young at heart! Be sure to stop by our booth to sign your kids up for a spot in the KNTR Build-a-Book program with Steven Riley, sponsored by Arizona Coyotes. This is our fourth year to host this popular program in the large booth space so generously provided to Kids Need to Read by Phoenix Comicon. We have some children who have attended all three previous years—we look forward to welcoming them back again this year.


And don’t miss the howling good time we will have during Story Time with Howler on Saturday and Sunday in the Youth Art Room! We just might be reading stories about wily coyotes….


Many thanks to Arizona Coyotes, Highlights for Children, Phoenix Comicon, and Elephants Remember Joplin for their constant support of our efforts to positively impact the futures of disadvantaged children through literacy initiatives.


KNTR Build-a-Book Program with Steven Riley, Sponsored by ARIZONA COYOTES
Friday & Saturday, May 29 & 30, 11:00 AM, 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM
Sunday, May 31, 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM
Location: Kids Need to Read Booth 5078
Author/illustrator Steven Riley will lead daily creative sessions for children of all ages in the Kids Need to Read booth. Children will learn how to create their own stories and illustrations during this highly entertaining program. After signing a reading pledge, all Build-a-Book participants will receive a special-edition Coyotes goodie backpack, sponsored by Arizona Coyotes, and filled with a Little Ty Cooney hardcover book, Highlights magazine, signed Howler card, and other goodies. This program is very popular, so be sure to stop by the booth to sign your children up for a spot.


Saturday, May 30

Sunday, May 31


KNTR Schedule of Events at Phoenix Comicon 2015



Leave a Reply