Each year on Nov. 11, citizens of the United States come together to honor military veterans for their service. In 2011, two communities—one on each coast—remembered heroes of the past and present with a look ahead to the future, and a Target School Library Makeover unveiling. At both events, team members joined forces with volunteer veterans from partner organization The Mission Continueslink opens in a new window to bring the new libraries to life.
In San Diego, the newly renovated Jack Kimbrough Elementary School library, located in a large Navy community, re-opened during a weekend ceremony. There, a staggering 99 percent of the students received free or reduced-price lunches and just 28 percent of third graders were reading proficiently by California standards. Makeover updates were poised to help turn those numbers around: Target stocked the library with 2,000 new books and added eco-friendly designs and a technology upgrade including 10 new iPads and an interactive digital teaching tool called a Promethean ActivBoard. Plus, the addition of an onsite Meals for Minds pantry meant students would have food to take home to their families.
During the event, Chairman, President and CEO Gregg Steinhafel, Community Relations President Laysha Ward and other Target leaders and their families joined team members and special guests such as Laura Numeroff, author of "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie," to read to students in classrooms throughout the school.
Meanwhile, on the East Coast, officers and personnel at Camp Allen Naval and Marine Base in Norfolk, Va., took a walk across the street to watch students of Camp Allen Elementary lay eyes on their new library for the first time. Of the 520 students, half came from military families, and around 50 had parents who are currently deployed. The base has built a strong mentor relationship with the school to help combat some tough statistics; 26 percent of students were not reading at grade level, and 46 percent received free or reduced-price lunches.
Besides new books, technology, furniture and other updates characteristic of a Target makeover, students discovered personalized ceiling and wall art; exciting twists to the old floor plan, like the "Dragon's Lair," a reading loft above the library renovated from previously unusable space; and a Meals for Minds pantry of their own. More than 125 local team member volunteers from 11 stores, including 10 with military service backgrounds, came together to make the renovations a reality.
Throughout these and other volunteer events across the country, volunteers from The Mission Continueslink opens in a new window join team members to make a difference in their communities. In honor of Veterans Day 2012, volunteers will soon team up again to renovate more school libraries near military communities. It's all part of Target's goal to give $1 billion for education by the end of 2015, putting more kids on the path to graduation.
Find more stories about how Target supports the military, veterans, and their friends and families in our Discover section.
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