By Denise Gary
Photos by Denise Gary and Gloria Weddle


What a blessing it is to have the support of terrific authors and illustrators in our cause! This was precisely the case this past week, when KNTR arranged a visit by author Barbara Gowen (on the right side of the picture above holding the saguaro stump) to Brunson-Lee Elementary School’s second grade classes. Barbara writes award winning nonfiction picture books for youngsters, including D is for Desert: a World Desert Alphabet, which was the focus of the program at Brunson-Lee. This was the second program this year through our partnership with Pi Beta Phi Phoenix Alumnae Club, which devotes each February to providing literacy support at the school through their Champions are Readers program. The alumnae club raises funds and volunteers throughout the year for Kids Need to Read; in turn KNTR provides books and program support for the alumnae club’s literacy projects. It is a terrific partnership that resulted in a $10,000 award for Kids Need to Read from Pi Beta Phi Foundation, which will advance our work together through The Page Coach programming.

IMG_0317_courtesy Gloria Weddle
Photo courtesy of Gloria Weddle

Barbara has a wonderful presentation on behalf of D is for Desert, which engages the children through an alphabetical journey through the desert biome. Children get to hold and smell samples, as well as learn many fun words. They get to imagine riding burros down into the Grand Canyon …


… and soar like hawks high up in the sky.


The children also enjoyed guessing answers to riddles in another of Barbara’s books, Little Arizona. Afterward, the alumnae club’s Kim OBrien and Heather Miller presented each of the students with a copy of G is for Grand Canyon: An Arizona Alphabet to add to their home libraries!



What a glorious morning we spent together with great books!



Many thanks to Barbara Gowan for graciously giving her time in support of childhood literacy, Pi Beta Phi Phoenix Alumnae Club for their treasured partnership and excellent community service, and the second grade teachers and students of Brunson-Lee Elementary School for their joyful welcome and learning spirit!

More about our partnership with Pi Beta Phi Phoenix Alumnae Club:

Brunson-Lee Second Graders Put On Brain Caps for The Little Flame

Kids Need to Read Awarded $10,000 from Pi Beta Phi Foundation to Fill “The Page Coach”

Pi Beta Phi Phoenix Alumnae Club & KNTR: Passionate for Literacy


Leave a Reply