By Denise Gary
Photos by Shelby McBride, Arizona Coyotes, Bruce Matsunaga, Robert Gary, and Sarah Zelhart


Kids Need to Read has enjoyed its second year of partnership with the Arizona Coyotes Hockey Club and what an exciting year it has been! Not only has KNTR benefited from an Arizona Coyotes Foundation 50/50 game raffle, several book drives, and sponsorship of the upcoming KNTR Build-a-Book program at Phoenix Comicon but the two organizations joined forces to read to children at UMOM New Day Centers during Read Across America Week. The Yotes will soon be visiting KNTR’s warehouse to help sort the many books collected through three successful book drives arranged by the hockey club. Perhaps a distribution of books with our pardners via The Page Coach is not too far off in the future! Check out some of our activities together below.

Arizona Coyotes /Mix 96.9 Literacy Awareness Night and Book Drive:

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Thanks so much to everyone who helped with and contributed to the Arizona Coyotes /Mix 96.9 book drive for KNTR at the Coyotes vs. Oilers game, including Arizona Ghostbusters . . .


. . . Heroes United AZ . . .


. . . and 501st Legion Dune Sea Garrison!


The costuming groups and KNTR volunteers were stationed at the entrances of Gila River Arena to collect new books donated by generous Coyotes fans. It was a thrilling evening resulting in lots of wonderful books for children!


The Yotes also sponsored book drives at two local schools: Rio Vista Elementary and Palm Valley Elementary. The students at these two campuses did an astronomical job gathering boxes and boxes of books! We could not be more grateful for the hard work of these fine young people.

All three drives resulted in a total of 2,835 books for KNTR’s literacy programs for disadvantaged children. What an incredible effort to assist in the cause!


Arizona Coyotes Foundation 50/50 Raffle:

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We had a fantastic evening at the Arizona Coyotes Foundation 50/50 raffle, bringing in $3,665 for Kids Need to Read! Thank you to the foundation for making this opportunity possible and to all of the KNTR volunteers who participated with such unbridled enthusiasm! Everyone’s passion made this event fun and a huge success!

Read to Me at UMOM New Day Centers:

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The day before Read Across America Day, we were invited to team up with our Arizona Coyotes literacy partners to read to children at UMOM New Day Centers, a transitional home located in Phoenix. Read more about this event at the following blog: KNTR Reads its Way through “Read Across America” Week.

Build-a-Book Program with Steven Riley:


For the second year, the Arizona Coyotes are sponsoring the KNTR Build-a-Book program with Steven Riley in booth 1078 at Phoenix Comicon (June 2–5, 2016)! Mr. Riley’s interactive workshops walk children through every step of the creative process, planting the seed of a simple idea and then watching it grow as young minds conspire and collaborate toward their own literary masterpiece.


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, courtesy of Arizona Coyotes (Highlights magazines contributed by Highlights for Children).


You will not want to miss this popular program that so wonderfully inspires a love of reading and writing among the young and young at heart, so be sure to stop by our booth to sign your kids up for a spot.

Friday & Saturday, June 3 & 4, 11:00 AM, 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM
Sunday, June 5, 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM
Location: Kids Need to Read Booth 1078, Phoenix Comicon

Many thanks to Arizona Coyotes for their continuing support of KNTR’s efforts to positively impact the lives of disadvantaged children through literacy initiatives.


Related Info: KNTR Schedule of Events at Phoenix Comicon 2016


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