What We Do

Phoenix Annual Report for 2021

The Phoenix group recently provided funds to purchase 25 copies of The Rise of Wolf 21 for students at Desert Foothills Junior High School.  Students were excited to learn about the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park. This study helped to improve their reading comprehension of non-fiction material about science and history in the United States.


In 2021 we helped to fund the Southwest Human Development Grow a Reader book drive. Approximately 500 children received books thru this program which also included helping parents understand the importance of early literacy.

Barbershop Books received our support for the purchase of books to be distributed through a local barbershop here in Phoenix promoting literacy to visiting children.

Sally Hurwitz spearheaded reviewing book requests through Donors Choose. It is a web site listing teacher’s classroom needs – a program that we have supported in past years.  We funded 10 elementary classrooms across the Valley including Queen Creek and Laveen.

Tolleson Elementary School District requested books for 180 3rd graders.  That request was put on hold because of COVID but we anticipate funding it in 2022.

Cindy Trego made use of extra books she was not able to distribute in 2020 due to COVID restrictions to give to organizations located in the Valley including, Maggie’s House, Avis Foster Care, the burn unit at Maricopa County Hospital, Cardon Children’s Hospital and to the book drive for Ronald McDonald House.

Pat Heck received funds to purchase books for her great Chaparral High School RIF efforts but because of COVID-19 distribution for 300 students at St Peter’s Indian Mission School on the Gila has been delayed until April 8, 2022.  Pat is also rescheduling their distribution to the Mesa homeless shelter.

The wonderful efforts of Gary and Tina Mlodzik thru Kids Need to Read, which usually include an author’s visit with a book distribution were cancelled again. We look forward to working with them when their target schools are ready.

Included in this report is the distribution of our allocation for the Barbara Parks Memorial Literacy Grant. The criteria included the schools having libraries as well as qualifying for free and reduced. The $5000 allocated by the board was used to fund books at the following statewide locations. The individual grants were for $500 and administered thru Gardner books and the Phoenix group. Because of school closures during COVID ‘not all the schools have completed their orders.

Crane Middle School Yuma

Fourth Ave Jr HS Yuma

 Cactus Middle School Casa Grande

Copper Rim Elementary Globe

Gila Vista Jr HS Yuma

Mountain View Elementary Humbolt

Desert Valley Elementary Bullhead

James B Rollie Elementary Yuma

Suverkrup Elementary Yuma

Willcox Middle School Willcox


Tucson Annual Report for 2021

The Tucson group recently donated about 31 books, as well as several magazine subscriptions, to the Boys’ and Girls’ Club of Bisbee. Their library is currently undergoing a renovation. There were a number of teens in attendance when we delivered the box of books, and they were very interested in the contents!

In the last twelve months we have promoted a number of children’s literacy projects reaching a variety of communities in the State.

Among them are:

Intermountain Academy- is a private school for Autistic children K-12. 90 children.  We provided monthly classroom magazines on social studies issues from Scholastic for 50 Middle School children through May. We donated magazine subscriptions. We purchased 80 requested books across k-12 for their literacy program.

Manzo Elementary Early Childhood Program

Four PACE classrooms, with a total of 50 children, received books for their read at home program. Students are given a book to keep when they turn in a reading calendar at the end of each month. We also provided books for Tully Elementary Early Childhood Program.

Make Way For Books — Libraries Ltd. provided the funding for books to support  Virtual Story School, a two-generation, bi-lingual early learning model for children and parents to learn together for a 10 week series.

We continue to sponsor our magazine subscriptions to 9 organizations serving over 1000 children, including the Our Family Services, in Tucson, Los Ninos Del Valle in Green Valley, The Arivaca Early Learning Center in Arivaca, the Bisbee Boys and Girls Club, and in Nogales, the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Cruz.

Aviva—Is dedicated to helping children in the care of the Department of Child Safety. We provided books and corelating stuffed animals purchased at Kohl’s for parents and children when they participate in family visits

Los Ninos Del ValleGreen Valley An Intergenerational Preschool for children age 2–Kindergarten. We provided funds for books for their emotional support curriculum.

Arivaca Early Learning Center – A community Pre-school in the small southern Arizona town of Arivaca.They serve 40-50 children ages 6 months – 5 years. We provided books to support literacy for some of their project studies.

Worlds of Words Library, University of Arizona College of Education– We supplied funding for a special program, Family Story Backpacks. Backpacks include 3 books and an artifact around something that families tell stories about. These backpacks have gone into k-2 classrooms with early childhood student teachers who send home a backpack with children for a week so the family can interact with the materials and make an entry in the family story journal.

Bisbee Boys and Girls Club- We provided 31 books the Club requested on their “wish list”.  The books are for their check out library which has been carefully curated since the Boys and Girls Club opened.

Barbershop Books – We funded books for this community based program that creates child friendly reading spaces in Barbershops and provides early literacy training to barbers.  The purpose is to increase out-of-school time reading among young black boys. Tommies Barbershop in Tucson is participating.

The Tohono O’odham Love of Reading month- We began buying books for this event in 2021 and the rest in 2022. The event did not happen in 2021 due to Covid. The plan this year, 2022, is to have a number of story times by zoom to different parts of the Tohono O’odham Nation. Tribal leaders and Elders will read stories at each zoom session. We have provided 452 books for about 452 children and adults. Books will be distributed in several drive by locations in February and March.