Kids Need to Read Press
Sending a Wave
“Bonus Show: The One With Two Halves”
Podcast interview with KNTR Executive Director Denise Gary discussing The Little Flame Kickstarter project, future expansion of Kids Need to Read, and the incredible power of books.
by Wendy Scott
November 17, 2013
“Nathan Fillion Video Interview”
Nathan Fillion talks about his first role, favorite book, and Kids Need to Read.
by Emilie Leoni
August 14, 2013
“Who should be the next Bachelor?”
In addition to being the star of ABC's Castle, Nathan Fillion's status as a co-founder of Kids Need to Read is mentioned as one reason the actor should be the next Bachelor on the reality television series.
by Barbara Card Atkinson
August 5, 2013
THINGS TO DO in PHX
“Local Businesses at #PHX Comicon”
May 30, 2013
Last but not least, we visited the Mesa chapter of Kids Need to Read. Kids Need to Read is a non-profit organization that provides quality books to underfunded schools, libraries, and reading programs. I've volunteered in programs like Junior Achievement and Free Arts, so this was special to me. When I walked up to the booth there was a Build-a-Book Project for Kids with Steven Riley. It was priceless.
“Phoenix Comicon, Part 2”
Phoenix Police Department Silent Witness Coordinator Sgt. Darren Burch discusses Phoenix Comicon in this radio interview with KNTR Executive Director Denise Gary, Phoenix Comicon Marketing Director Jillian Squires, and Phoenix Comicon Youth & Family Programming Director Mac MacKellar.
by Sgt. Darren Burch
May 19, 2013
“Current Circuits Interview with Denise Gary”
Podcast interview with KNTR Executive Director Denise Gary, discussing the work and history of the organization, its involvement with costuming groups and Phoenix Comicon, the KNTR Geek Prom, and her co-workers at Kids Need to Read.
May 8, 2013
Phoenix New Times Jackalope Ranch
“10 Must-See Events at Phoenix Comicon 2013”
by Benjamin Leatherman
April 25, 2013
3. Geek Prom [Fundraiser Produced by Kids Need to Read]
Comics and pop culture by day, partying at night. That's the typical schedule for Comicon as themed fiestas and shindigs go on after the sun goes down, whether it's at hotel ballrooms or more private fetes in suites and rooms. Attendees who aren't getting sack time after an exhausting day of traipsing about the exhibition hall with loaded plastic bags in hand will probably be found at nightlife events like the Monster Bash, Adventure Time Rave, Captain Cantina, or -- the biggest party of the all -- the Geek Prom.
Commencing at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 25, in the Hyatt Regency Ballroom, it will -- as it always does -- boast a big turnout, revelers in the finest or freakiest clothing, and more than a few jags of awkward dancing. Fittingly, a uniquely decorated archway will be set up for photos.
Sending a Wave
“Episode 99: The One With The Arizonian”
This podcast episode brings you a chat with KNTR Executive Director Denise Gary and 2013 Browncoat Ball Organizer Cindy Pickard to talk about the official Nathan Fillion birthday fundraiser and the latest with the Browncoat Ball. (Interview starts 19 minutes into the podcast.)
by Wendy Scott
March 19, 2013
Business for Breakfast
“Kids Need to Read Spotlight”
Executive Director Denise Gary discusses the work of Kids Need to Read, upcoming events, and how people can support the organization in this live Money Radio 1510 interview.
by Ken Morgan
March 18, 2013
“‘Kids Need to Read’ is Design Kreeda's new friend!”
The art designer chronicles her visit to the Kids Need to Read office and reveals her collaboration on Peace products in support of the organization's Kids-N-Peace program.
by Kanchan Gokhale
February 21, 2013
PJ Haarsma Journal
“I Pushed Nathan Fillion Into the Pool.”
Author and Kids Need to Read Founder PJ Haarsma provides the back story of the PSA he filmed in which actor and KNTR Co-founder Nathan Fillion makes a big splash for KNTR.
by PJ Haarsma
January 3, 2013
East Valley Tribune
“EV reacts to Conn. school tragedy: ‘We were crying about it here’”
Reaction from Kids Need to Read is quoted in this report on the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy.
by Tribune writers Michelle Reese and CeCe Todd, The Associated Press, and Capitol Media Services
December 14, 2012
INALJ (I Need a Library Job)
“Denise Gary of Kids Need to Read . . . In Six”
Denise Gary talks about passion, her experiences with libraries, and not only teaching children how to read but why they should WANT to read.
by Naomi House
July 16, 2012
“Nathan Fillion Reveals Why He's Hooked on Books”
The actor and co-founder of Kids Need to Read reveals his favorite books and why he likes to read.
by David Hochman
June 8, 2012
Nerds at the Round Table
“Phoenix Comicon 2012 Day 1”
Development Director Debbie Brown discusses the Kids Need to Read Geek Prom at Phoenix Comicon.
by Cara Nicole
May 26, 2012
FOX 10 News Phoenix
“Phoenix Comicon a $5 million economic impact”
“The Phoenix Comicon brings in at least $5 million over a three day span, but the profits aren't the only story. Non-profits like “Kids Need to Read” take advantage of the passion and the frenzy of these fans to encourage literacy. ‘We involve comic books, graphic novels, eBooks, hard cover books, soft cover books, anything that gets kids to read we involve in our program,’ says Denise Gary of Kids Need to Read.”
by Dan Spindle
May 25, 2012
“Phoenix Comicon 2012: Behind The Scenes - Geek Prom”
Denise Gary talks about the Kids Need to Read Geek Prom at Phoenix Comicon 2012 and its importance to the organization's programs.
by Emanuel James Miller
May 22, 2012
Texas Library Association
“Webcast Preview of Kids Need to Read Presentation”
Executive Director Denise Gary provides a preview of the Kids Need to Read presentation at the Texas Library Association 2012 Conference.
by Ted Wanner
April 14, 2012
Cari Campbell & Associates, LLC Newsletter
“Nonprofit Showcase: Kids Need to Read; Mesa, Arizona”
March 1, 2012
Kids Need to Read (KNTR) is a non-profit organization that provides books to underfunded schools, libraries, and literacy programs across America. We had a chance to ask the Executive Director, Denise Gary, a few questions this month:
Q. What one aspect of your organization makes you unique from other organizations?
A. KNTR extends its literacy programs beyond early childhood, encompassing middle readers, as well as adolescents. This is quite unusual for any literacy organization, whether on a local level or a national level. Striving to raise literacy rates among older readers who have fallen through the cracks has become our niche, as the need is so extremely high, yet there are few organizations giving any attention to kids whose literacy skills continue to flounder after third grade. There are many reasons why children may pass through to upper grades lacking basic reading skills, but our system simply moves on, leaving them to fail. This has a major impact on our society as a whole and directly affects this country's unacceptable 25% dropout rate. KNTR is taking on the system and proving that failing middle school students can be saved through intensive, inspiring literacy efforts.
Q. What would you consider to be your organization's greatest accomplishment over the past year?
A. KNTR, in partnership with Arizona State University, initiated an exciting pilot program this fall aimed at increasing the literacy rates of the seventh and eighth grade students at ASU Preparatory Academy, a charter school in downtown Phoenix. Many of the students had entered the school with extremely low reading skills. Teachers at the school worked incredibly hard to implement and cultivate the program. Preliminary tests conducted after the first semester indicated a significant increase in the reading scores among the students in the program, as compared to the rest of the student body. The increase indicates we have a program that works. It fills me with anticipation to think of expanding this program once fully developed at failing middle schools across our nation!
Q. What prompted your organization's leadership to increase and/or diversify your organization's grant submissions?
A. I was deeply committed to developing and instituting a program to significantly impact the literacy rates of middle school students, believing low reading skills to be indicative of high dropout rates in ninth grade and beyond. After approaching KNTR Chairman Dr. James Blasingame, Director of English Education at Arizona State University, the project really took off. We only had enough resources to get the project off the ground, but it required a two-year commitment. We knew we had to get a large number of grant submissions flowing and fast! Our collaboration with Cari Campbell & Associates allowed us to keep the program running with no loss of momentum. Grant awards are integral to the program's expansion and ability to affect the lives of many more students now and into the future.
“Kids Need to Read: a progressive nonprofit inspiring imagination”
“The charitable organization Kids Need to Read (KNTR) opens up a world of endless possibilities to children through literacy. Founded by author PJ Haarsma, actor Nathan Fillion, and Executive Director Denise Gary, KNTR provides children with books through school and community programs. In this extensive interview, Gary details why the demand is so great, how the program works, and the many ways we can help.”
by Tracey L. Kelley
October 27, 2011
Cats, Books, and...More Cats!
“Kids Need to Read Director Denise Gary . . . in Rocco's Hotseat!”
“We're kicking off our SALUTE TO EVERY WITCH WAY BUT WICKED with the Director of KIDS NEED TO READ, Denise Gary, in my hotseat! The Human recently met Denise when she was in Arizona and was impressed with Denise's dedication and enthusiasm for the charity, and since sales of the anthology benefit them, we wanted you to know more about it!”
by Rocco LoTempio
October 14, 2011
The Arizona Republic/azcentral.com
“Arizona's new reading law has high stakes”
KNTR Executive Director Denise Gary expresses concern over new Arizona mandate, “Move on When Reading.”
by Kerry Fehr-Snyder
October 14, 2011
“Interview: Denise Gary – Kids Need to Read”
“Kids Need to Read is an essential program designed to help foster the importance of reading with youths. Its Executive Director Denise Gary stopped by CBI to talk about the program, how it was started, and how comic books are a valuable tool for the success in reading. . .”
by John Michael Helmer
October 10, 2011
THE ZOMBIEDUDE LIVES
“THE ZOMBIEDUDE LIVES: Kids Need to Read”
Interview with Denise Gary discussing the profound literacy issues of today, and what we as parents and citizens can do to improve those circumstances for our children.
Hosted by Kris McGraw
August 9, 2011
Austin City Connection
“The Austin Public Library's ‘Second Chance Books’ Awarded a ‘Kids Need to Read’ Grant”
Austin Public Library press release announcing the first shipment of KNTR books for use at the Gardner Betts Juvenile Justice Center in Austin, Texas.
Posted by Kanya Lyons, Austin Public Library
August 8, 2011
The materials that we received from the Kids Need to Read organization are much needed by the residents of Gardner Betts. Youth at the facility often report reading their first book while incarcerated. The diversity of the materials sent to us by Kids Need to Read will ensure that every reader at Gardner Betts can find a book that interests them.
DOOM! Magazine Blog Network
“Phoenix Comicon 2011: Spotlight on Kids Need to Read”
Denise converses about the impact of KNTR's program upon children, and the foundation's partnerships with Phoenix Comicon, Bookmans Entertainment Exchange, and Browncoats: Redemption.
by Mama Rox
July 17, 2011
“The Signal: Season 7, Episode 11”
Interview with Denise Gary. Part 1 (0:18:48) includes discussion of KNTR's origins, Browncoat support, and the KNTR HIKRZ Jamboree. Part 2 (0:50:22) features our activities at Phoenix Comicon, the KNTR Geek Prom, and our cause.
Hosted by Kari Haley and Les Howard
June 21, 2011
“Kids Need to Read: A local look at a nonprofit's goal”
An ASU student journalist discusses KNTR's inspirational approach to reading with Denise Gary.
by Christina Bravo (Special to the Independent)
May 6, 2011
“Help Nathan Buy Firefly shuts down, supports Fillion's charity Kids Need to Read”
by Jess d'Arbonne
March 14, 2011
This isn't the first time Browncoats have banded together to bring back Firefly, and it probably won't be the last. Help Nathan Buy Firefly has officially shut down and put its support behind Nathan Fillion's favorite charity, Kids Need to Read.
On February 17th, Firefly star Nathan Fillion gave an interview with Entertainment Weekly in which he uttered the fateful words.
“If I got $300 million from the California Lottery, the first thing I would do is buy the rights to Firefly, make it on my own, and distribute it on the Internet.” Browncoats took him at his word, and thus the website Help Nathan Buy Firefly was born. The idea was to raise enough monetary pledges from fans so that Fillion could buy the rights to Firefly and produce it independent of network interference. Read the story of Help Nathan Buy Firefly here.
The site rapidly went viral, gaining hundreds of thousands of followers on Facebook. With all the support from Browncoats and Whedonites, all that was needed was for someone in charge—Joss Whedon, Nathan Fillion, Gail Berman of FOX—to give the word and the money would start flowing in.
Instead, Fillion and members of the Whedon family gently put a stop to the plan, in a move that has been deemed both wise and unfair by members of the Help Nathan Buy Firefly camp.
Joss Whedon's sister-in-law, Maurissa Tancharoen tweeted, “Guys, no one in the Whedonverse is in support of www.helpnathanbuyfirefly.com. Please save your money!” According to ScreenRant.com, Tancharoen later amended her statement, adding “that there were no hard feelings from the Whedon clan, but Joss and Co. weren't comfortable with fans trying to take direct control of the Firefly rights, and even less with them collecting real money to do so.”
Instead, Fillion is encouraging Browncoats and his fans to donate to Kids Need to Read, a charitable organization which Fillion supports. On February 24th, the actor tweeted, “It's beautiful to dream of more Firefly, but PLEASE DON'T SEND ANY MONEY. Just keep being great Browncoats, which you are!” The message is clear: While Fillion appreciates the support of his fans, he believes their money is better spent on a good cause than on bringing back a television show.
Kevin Pollak's Chat Show
“KPCS: Nathan Fillion #100”
Kevin Pollak asks KNTR co-founder Nathan Fillion about Kids Need to Read in this excellent interview. The discussion about Kids Need to Read takes place at approximately 1:29:00.
February 13, 2011
Connecting the Dots: Children's Author David L. Harrison's Blog
“A Day without Reading is a Day without Enlightenment – James Blasingame”
Chairman James Blasingame contributed a column to David L. Harrison's blog in which he describes his experience at the Kids Need to Read HIKRZ Jamboree and why we work to change lives through our books.
November 12, 2010
YA Literature Review
“Review: Ruined, by Paula Morris”
Just in time for Halloween, Vilate and Rose discuss Ruined: A Ghost Story, by Paula Morris, with special guest Denise Gary.
by YA Literature Review
October 29, 2010
Browncoats: Redemption Live on USTREAM
“Browncoats: Redemption Q & A 10/21/10”
Denise Gary joins the Browncoats: Redemption Q&A to discuss many subjects, including the progress of KNTR; the foundation's origins and growth; thinking like a big fish; being fearless; impacting literacy rates; overcoming challenges with passion and tenacity; the integrity of the Browncoats: Redemption crew; creating a unique identity; juggling jobs and significant others while creating a nonprofit; the KNTR Geek Prom; Castle fans; injecting fun in everything you do; developing a thick skin; helping children subjected to poverty, violence, and substance abuse; PJ Haarsma's hair; and Denise's favorite book (The Conquest of New Spain, by Bernal Diaz del Castillo).
October 21, 2010
“James Blasingame on why ‘kids need to read’”
Chairman James Blasingame is asked about his involvement with Kids Need to Read.
by Judith Smith
June 15, 2010
Browncoats: Redemption on Vimeo
“Phoenix Comicon Panel”
Denise Gary joins the Browncoats: Redemption panel at Phoenix Comicon 2010 to discuss Kids Need to Read and its Browncoat connection.
June 8, 2010
“SFS 131 Phoenix Comicon with Browncoats: Redemption”
The crew of Browncoats: Redemption chats about Phoenix Comicon 2010 and the Kids Need to Read Geek Prom in this podcast.
by Casey Shultz
June 5, 2010
12 News Today
“Phoenix Comicon is on!”
Denise Gary talks about Kids Need to Read and the Geek Prom at Phoenix Comicon in this news clip.
by Nicole McGregor
May 28, 2010
Firefly: Still Flying: A Celebration of Joss Whedon's Acclaimed Television series
“The Browncoats: An Overview of Firefly Fandom”
Denise Gary discusses Kids Need to Read in the Browncoat charities section of this book.
by Abbie Bernstein
May 25, 2010
Our core program is to buy new books for under-funded schools and libraries and clinics and shelters, any place that has a good literacy program for children, especially disadvantaged children. It is also about giving the right kind of books. Most of our kids are very underprivileged, very poverty-stricken; they're not surrounded with a culture of reading. So we give books that have valuable substance and a lot of uplifting messages. That's a very big part of our mission, as well.
Literature Advisory Committee member Daanon DeCock talks about KNTR's involvement at Phoenix Comicon in this news clip.
by Channel 12 News video
May 24, 2010
“Author Interview PJ Haarsma”
SFX reader Helen Rehmany quizzes The Softwire author PJ Haarsma.
by Helen Rehmany
May 7, 2010
Helen: Kids Need To Read, the charity you co-founded with actor Nathan Fillion, is going from strength to strength. What prompted its inception?
Haarsma: As I visited schools at the beginning of my career, I was often confronted with budget constraints. Some educators had given in to the relentless cuts to their libraries' budgets by claiming that their children didn't read anyway. Yet, I would come into their schools and light their kids on fire with my presentation (not literally of course). The kids demanded copies of my book and teachers scrambled to take money out of their own wallets to put a single copy on the shelf. At one school a little girl followed me into the parking lot after my presentation was over and said, “I got a movie ticket for my Christmas present. Can I trade it for one of your books?” What do you do with that? You start a charity.
“Support for Kids Need to Read”
See actor Nathan Fillion and author PJ Haarsma in a video to promote their reading charity.
May 4, 2010
“We Are Mighty”
by Jaym Gates
April 2, 2010
Browncoats: Redemption is an ambitious look at what might have happened after the crew of Serenity broadcast the signal. It has ambitious goals too: to raise a significant amount of money for the charities it supports.
They chose from a list of charities supported by the stars of Firefly. The Dyslexia Foundation, Kids Need to Read, Equality Now, the Al Wooten Jr. Foundation and the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement foundation. Each charity will receive an equal percentage of the proceeds from the DVD sales.
How much? Steve and Mike have a minimum goal of $90,000 per charity. Some of these charities are just starting up. Others are well established, but they all support an incredibly diverse range of worthy causes.
Kids Need to Read is the one that really brought me into the fold. Started by PJ Haarsma and Nathan Fillion (“Mal”), KNTR brings books to under-funded schools and libraries. Some of PJ's stories are heart-breaking, as he talks about the kids he's talked to and the places he's been.
Browncoats: Redemption Podcast
“Episode 7: Denise Gary, Kids Need to Read, plus Listener Questions”
Denise Gary talks about the work of Kids Need to Read, sending positive messages to the forgotten children of poverty, Nathan Fillion fangirliness, enjoying life to the fullest, the impact of Fillion Fans for Kids Need to Read, the strength of kindness, KNTR plans for Phoenix Comicon, and the content of not for profit websites.
by Casey Schultz
March 27, 2010
“PJ Haarsma 2”
Founder PJ Haarsma discusses how his writing lead to the creation of Kids Need to Read.
March 22, 2010
Girls Incorporated of Omaha
“Highlights still has all the classics...”
March 1, 2010
Girls Incorporated of Omaha
“Girls pick out some good reads from Kids Need to Read donation.”
February 10, 2010
Girls Incorporated of Omaha
“The Books Are Here!”
February 10, 2010
Browncoats: Redemption on Vimeo
“Panel at Creation Entertainment's Salute to Firefly and Serenity”
Denise Gary joins the Browncoats: Redemption panel at Creation Entertainment's Salute to Firefly and Serenity 2009.
February 9, 2010
Dialogues, “Episode 8 (part 1) - Denise Gary”
KNTR's Executive Director discusses the foundation's origins, the deplorable condition of the American education system, and how the high rate of illiteracy affects the entire fabric of society.
by John D. McMahon
February 7, 2010
Dialogues, “Episode 8 (part 2) - Denise Gary”
KNTR's Executive Director discusses the impact that spoken words have on people, especially between children and adults.
by John D. McMahon
February 8, 2010
Dialogues, “Episode 8 (part 3) - Denise Gary”
KNTR's Executive Director discusses internet etiquette, and expands on the theme of disrespect within our society and as depicted in the television show, Firefly.
by John D. McMahon
February 14, 2010
“Interview: Nathan Fillion Talks Firefly, Dr. Horrible, and Why Kids Need to Read”
by Matt Blum
January 21, 2010
“2009 Dr Horrible/The Guild Charity Screening!”
November 17, 2009
“Highlights: Oh, What a Fillion!”
by Ingela Ratledge
Issue Date: November 9-15, 2009
Sending a Wave
“Episode 55 October 2009”
PJ Haarsma and Denise Gary talk about KNTR with podcaster Wendy Scott at Dragon*Con.
October 30, 2009
“Make A Difference Day”
Nathan Fillion promotes volunteerism and Kids Need to Read.
Issue Date: October 18, 2009
“Halo 3: ODST (X360) Nathan Fillion Interview”
by Adam Pavlacka
September 25, 2009
WP: One of the things that you mentioned earlier was that your parents were teachers. On “Castle,” you play a writer. In real life, you co-founded Kids Need to Read a couple of years ago to help give books to children. How important were books to you when you were growing up, and how have things been going with Kids Need to Read?
NF: Things are going great with Kids Need to Read. From a bumbling little charity that we kind of conceived of and started, it's become an official 501(c)(3) thanks to a bunch of Browncoats, fans of Firefly and fans of PJ Haarsma. That thing is a full-blown charity; it's got a life of its own. We're getting a lot of books into a lot of kids' hands.
For me growing up, having books was like a ticket to ride. Even now, if I didn't have books, I wouldn't have half the imagination I have. Things light me on fire when I'm reading. I really enjoy being transported. I'm reading “World War Z” right now by Max Brooks. That book scared the crap out of me. I love it! I love that I can be at work, sitting on the set, I have 10 minutes before the next thing I've got to do, and for 10 minutes, I can escape. I love it, and I would love children to have that opportunity as well. You teach a kid to read, you let him read, you give him the experience, there's nothing he can't do.
“Kids Need to Read Arrives at Dragon*Con”
by Shannon O'Connor
September 3, 2009
Suite 101 Children's Books
“Kids Need to Read Supplies Books for Libraries”
Nonprofit Organization Aids in Child Literacy Development
by Michael Jung
July 8, 2009
News 8 Austin
“Austin hosts first toy trade show in years”
Chemical Toy Fair, hosted by Out of the Past Collectables and Austin Browncoats, benefits Kids Need to Read.
by News 8 Austin video
May 22, 2009