Greetings!

Kids Need to Read will be celebrating ten years of inspiring imagination and advancing the wonders of childhood literacy this coming January! It has been quite a journey, starting off with not much more than boundless passion in 2008. But, wow, has that passion carried us forward, along with hard work, major miracles, and your generous support.

For me as a founder, Kids Need to Read represents ten years of dedication to the well-being of children by its board and staff. The organization could not accomplish much beyond providing a modest number of books during its first few years, but has flourished since into an exceptional entity fulfilling its mission on an increasingly grander scale each year.

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This past year, we realized one of our longest-held dreams when doors opened to our services at several Native American reservations: Navajo, Hopi, Apache and Tohono O’odham. I could fill this letter with stats to illustrate the dire need. For example, 40% of Navajo households are without electricity and 30% do not have running water. Or this comment from a Tohono O’odham school: “There are many families that struggle to provide adequate resources for their children, such as hot water, electricity, and air conditioning. The Tohono O’odham reservation does not have a local library for families to access books for their children….” A great many children in these areas do not own a book, until Kids Need to Read delivers literary treasure to them. Such living conditions are extreme, but what matters most is the hope we see in the children, most of whom treasure books as a highly worthwhile gift.

During one recent visit to the Navajo Nation, we provided each child with one Highlights magazine and two books after a Storybook Adventure presentation. Then we invited teachers to take books for their classrooms. A group of students had been quietly waiting off to the side, and when the teachers were finished, the children came over to politely ask if they could have some of the remaining books. They were not being greedy, and they did not care what titles were left; they just wanted books to read. It was heartwarming to FEEL their desire to read! We will keep encouraging them to read and keep filling their need for books, because ignoring a severe lack of reading resources is not an option.

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A principal at a Title I elementary school we visited last holiday season turned to me and said, “Most of these children do not receive a Christmas. You just gave them one.” Whether it is Native American reservations, schools devastated by hurricanes, or areas experiencing multi-generational illiteracy, Kids Need to Read provides the extraordinary and vital gift of the written word to youth living in low socioeconomic areas across the country.

Will you help Kids Need to Read continue to provide books and literacy initiatives during this distinctive tenth anniversary year? Whether you give $10 in honor of ten years, or $10 for each of the ten years we have served, your gift will help provide a more literate future for children who have little to no access to books.

To make a contribution to assist Kids Need to Read in providing books and literacy programs to children, please visit our secure Donation page, or mail a check to the address below. Your donation is 100% tax deductible.

Thank you for helping Kids Need to Read to thrive during its first ten years. With your support, we will continue to work on behalf of disadvantaged children by providing the books and program services they need to discover the power and joy of a literate mind.

Most gratefully,

Denise Gary
Executive Director

Kids Need to Read
2450 West Broadway Road, Suite 110
Mesa, Arizona 85202
480-256-0115
info@kidsneedtoread.org

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