By Denise Gary
Photographs by Denise Gary

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Kids Need to Read has been blessed by a wonderful partnership with Pi Beta Phi Phoenix Alumnae Club over the past three years, which has resulted in the provision of books and literacy programs for disadvantaged children in the Phoenix area, as well as nationally. Here are our most recent activities together.

Club members Kim OBrien and Heather Miller enjoyed seeing recognition of Pi Beta Phi Foundation’s $10,000 contribution toward books for The Page Coach while volunteering with KNTR at Family Fest 16 in Gilbert!


We were so happy to have the fantastic assistance of club members, as well as pups Lollipop and Daphne, to finish stuffing summer reading book packs for children participating in the national READ Together program! 1,200 students received 12 books each to keep and read over the summer. They will return to school with sharp minds!

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The alumnae club helped in the presentation of Ninja Story Time at a Mesa transition home, bringing books and joy to children living in a very challenging situation.

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KNTR Executive Director Denise Gary was invited to speak at a Phoenix Alumnae Club meeting, where she felt honored to be able to thank the members for their steadfast support and to share news about KNTR’s work with The Page Coach. The Pi Beta Phi Foundation had provided a $10k grant earlier in the year in support of books for the Coach and the alumnae club continues to assist with the program.

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Kids Need to Read had a terrific time reading to kids and giving away books and Highlights magazines at UMOM New Day Centers in Phoenix with members of the alumnae club. Volunteers read every Tuesday to children at the transition home during their Read to Me events.

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4,354! That’s how many stickers alumnae club members placed inside READ Together program books! That’s a lot of stickering, so we were extremely grateful to have their fantastic volunteer assistance!

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Kim OBrien and pup Lollie delivered 136 cuddly reading buddies to the KNTR office, kindly donated by members of Pi Beta Phi Phoenix Alumnae Club! Reading buddies are an absolute thrill for KNTR kids and help us inspire young children to read!

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Right before winter break, Author/Illustrator Steven Riley was brought to Arizona to present the KNTR Build-a-Book program at several schools, including Brunson-Lee Elementary School. Pi Beta Phi Local Impact Grant funds—contributed to KNTR by the Phoenix Alumnae Club and matched by Pi Beta Phi Foundation—were used to sponsor books for each participating second grade student at Brunson-Lee. Build-a-Book is a truly one-of-a-kind approach to reading—one that encourages a love of books quite literally from within!

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Kids Need to Read is so very grateful to Kim OBrien and the entire Pi Beta Phi Phoenix Alumnae Club, as well as Pi Beta Phi Foundation for their continuous, passionate support of KNTR’s literacy initiatives. We look forward to working together throughout 2017 on behalf of children in need of books and literacy support. Thank you!

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

The Arrow: “An Oasis in the Book Desert”
KNTR had the good fortune to receive over 400 books from Pi Beta Phi’s Fraternity Day of Service in 2015, part of our partnership with Pi Beta Phi Phoenix Alumnae Club. This article, appearing on page 30, recounts how the books KNTR received were distributed to children in need of reading resources.

The Bow: “Setting the Wheels in Motion for Literacy”
Spotlight of Kids Need to Read’s $10,000 Pi Beta Phi Foundation grant award and partnership with Pi Beta Phi Phoenix Alumnae Club on page 4.

The Desert Wonders of Author Barbara Gowan for Brunson-Lee Elementary

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







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