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By Denise Gary
Photos by Robert Gary, ECF of Boeing AZ, Penny McDivitt, and Kim OBrien
What a joy it was to pick up The Page Coach decked out in its fun, western-themed wrap designed and installed by A&M Graphics! Building upon the original Page Coach logo designed by Amy Carolyn Watson, A&M added some kinetic horsepower and a whirlwind of pages to power our wondrous mobile outreach unit! The Page Coach will visit Page Stations along its trails, delivering literary treasure to children living in low socioeconomic areas of Arizona!
The Page Coach was made possible by the extremely generous $30,000 Crystal Vision Award bestowed upon Kids Need to Read by Employees Community Fund of Boeing Arizona. We were absolutely beside ourselves with joy to win the award, as being able to deliver books and literacy programs directly to children who do not normally receive such services has been one of our longtime dreams. Boeing made this vision come alive, and we could not be more grateful and excited.
We provided the ECF a prominent place on both sides and the rear of the van to show our appreciation, but that hardly seems enough for all the good things their gift will accomplish.
We have also been very fortunate to receive two large contributions to help KNTR get started filling the van with its heart—books!
Highlights for Children provided over 36,000 of their wonderful Highlights magazines, a portion of which will be used at every Page Stop. Highlights are irresistible and truly open up the world of reading to children. They are also a terrific enticement to parents to read with their children, which is a crucial activity in building high reading proficiency levels. The magazines are invaluable to Kids Need to Read and The Page Coach!
KNTR teamed up with Pi Beta Phi Phoenix Alumnae Club to win one of only five annual $10,000 grant awards from Pi Beta Phi Foundation, which will be used to fund books and reading buddies exclusively for The Page Coach! This was an extremely exciting gift, as it provided immediate funds to fill the coach with the reading resources it will convey to children. The alumnae club is a regular partner of KNTR and we cannot wait to stir up some reading excitement with their members at the Page Stations we visit!
Berge Ford has been instrumental in the birth of The Page Coach! The magical Bruce Bressler secured the perfect used van to serve as the foundation of the coach. With only 4,000 miles on it, the van was basically new, but blessed with a lovely used price tag. It already had the bulkhead and tie down rails we needed, as well. Truly, this van was meant to become The Page Coach, Conveyor of Literary Treasure!
Not only did Berge Ford find the perfect vehicle for KNTR, but they agreed to donate routine maintenance for a long time to come! What a wonderful and much-appreciated gift!
Now, it is onto more fundraisers and book drives, followed by the establishment of KNTR’s first Page Stations at Boys & Girls Clubs, transitional homes, recreation centers, libraries, and other organizations. We have two Page Coach drives coming up, so please support them:
Join Phoenix Comicon in a celebration of imagination and the many extraordinary wonders brought to children through reading! The convention is asking supporters to help fill The Page Coach with fantastic books and stuffed reading buddies for children by contributing to this exciting fund drive! Our heartfelt appreciation goes to Phoenix Comicon for its major support of KNTR and the cause of childhood literacy over the past seven years. Please give to the Phoenix Comicon Page Coach Challenge in support of children who lack vital reading resources and literacy programs. Campaign ends April 18, 2016.
Barnes & Noble Chandler KNTR Book Fair and Local Author Day:
April 16, 2016, 10:00 AM–7:00 PM
Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Chandler Fashion Mall, Chandler, Arizona
Purchase children’s books (ages 0–18) at the store all day to help stuff The Page Coach! We will be parked right outside, so come take a look at our wheeled literary treasure chest! Plus, there will be exciting activities all day long!
Schedule of Events
10:00 AM: Educator Appreciation Reception
11:00 AM: Don’t Touch This Book! children’s story time, coloring and activities
12:00 Noon–7:00 PM: Visit with sixteen different local authors:
Children’s Authors: 12:00 to 2:00PM
Teen Authors: 2:30 to 4:30PM
Adult Authors: 5:00 to 7:00PM
Please come out to see us and support our Stuff the Coach book fair!
Kids Need to Read is also in need of Jackson’s Car Wash gift cards to wash off all of that trail dust we will be accumulating.
Thanks so much to everyone who has made this dream come true and who supports KNTR in so many kind and generous ways! We appreciate all of you!
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