Better Arizona

Kids Need to Read provides books to disadvantaged Arizona school kids

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TEMPE, AZ (CBS5) -

What's the key to getting more kids to read? One Valley organization thinks it has everything to do with inspiring them through programs that make reading fun and cool, particularly disadvantaged children in underfunded schools.

"Anything that will build a joy for reading, a passion for reading. Inspire kids to read because we just know how important that is," said Denise Gary, executive director of Kids Need to Read.

So important, Kids Need to Read takes hardcover books and Highlights magazines to elementary students in Valley schools where owning a book might be just as difficult as reading it.

"We get requests from schools that haven't received new books in 20 years so you're talking a whole generation of kids who have not been exposed to current material," Gary said.

The organization also brings in dynamic presenters, like author and illustrator Steven Riley. He teaches kids how to create a story, which he says encourages them to want to write their own book.

"What I want them to come away with is the idea that books are a really fun thing to be involved with. It's a pleasure. It's exciting. It's using your imagination," Riley said.

"All of a sudden they see that books aren't just school work, that books are fun, that books are great," Gary added.

Click Kids Need to Read for more information.

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