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Kansas City’s newest HIKE Reading Lab to be unveiled Feb. 26

Trent Green Family Foundation and Phoenix Family expand innovative literacy program for low-income youth

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Feb. 24, 2014) — Kansas City’s innovative HIKE Reading Achievement Program is set to unveil the newest HIKE Reading Lab on Feb. 26, located in the Friendship Village housing community at 3901 E. 56th Terrace in southeast Kansas City. A grand-opening event is scheduled with a ribbon-cutting ceremony to take place at 6 p.m.

Developed by the Trent Green Family Foundation and Phoenix Family, HIKE (which stands for Help Instill the Key to Education) provides low-income children with targeted, structured and individualized instruction in order to improve their reading proficiency.

According to Kimber Myers Givner, Phoenix Family’s executive director, the most effective way of breaking the cycle of poverty is by increasing the reading skills of children. "Ninety-five percent of fourth graders in a Phoenix Family low-income housing community read below grade level," she said, "but the new HIKE Reading Lab is a tangible way to help break the literacy gap."

This HIKE Reading Lab is a custom-designed 270-square-foot space dedicated to the joy of reading. It includes such kid-friendly features as intimate book nooks, comfortable beanbag seating, colorful area rugs, creative lighting and a computer station. The lab is staffed by a professional reading specialist recently hired for this position, who will lead programs that focus on: teaching fundamental literacy skills in a fun way; eliminating the psychological issues of failure related to reading and writing, such as feelings of helplessness, shame or humiliation; and pairing children with volunteer reading coaches twice per week.

The HIKE Reading Achievement Program opened the first HIKE Reading Lab in 2013, located at East Hills Village near Swope Park.

Since 1999, the Trent Green Family Foundation has helped improve the quality of life for thousands of individual families, from all walks of life. Its mission is to develop and support family-focused programs that improve the health and wellness, education, and futures of Kansas City-area children in need. Go to for more information.

Phoenix Family is a nonprofit organization that offers programs to more than 5,100 residents in 13 cities throughout Missouri and Kansas. Its programs empower youth, seniors and families in low-income housing communities with the on-site support they need to gain stability and achieve self-sufficiency. Go to for more information.

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