Target and The Heart of America Foundation Renovate School Libraries Across the Country, Providing Thousands of Students with Resources to Learn and Succeed
As part of an ongoing commitment to early childhood reading with a specific focus on K–3, this fall, Target
and The Heart of America Foundation®
will renovate school libraries through the annual Target School Library Makeovers program. The program includes the unveiling of 32* extreme library makeovers for schools in-need in 30 cities, as well as $500 Book Awards to schools across the country.
Through this program, Target is donating more than $7 million to school libraries nationwide and providing students with a new outlook on learning. Each makeover features light construction and new furniture, shelves, carpet and technology, as well as 2,000 new books for each school library. In addition, each student and their sibling/s will receive seven new books to take home.
“Studies show that reading proficiently by the end of third grade is one of the most important academic milestones on the path to graduation,” said Laysha Ward, president of community relations, Target. “Through the revitalization of these libraries, Target is putting more books into the hands of more students across the country, helping them reach their full potential and inspiring a lifelong love of reading.”
The Target School Library Makeovers program was launched in 2007 and features a combination of extreme school library makeovers, which include a complete renovation, and $500 Book Awards to schools across the country. Since the program’s inception, Target has impacted more than 2,000 school libraries, distributed more than one million new books and donated tens of thousands of volunteer hours.
“Our partnership with Target allows us to elevate the level of our giving and reach thousands of additional students and volunteers across the nation,” said Angie Halamandaris, president and co-founder of The Heart of America Foundation. “Reading is the key to success. And, to ensure students develop a strong foundation for continued learning, it is essential for every school library to be the heart of the school: inspiring and inviting. With the help of Target, we are able to give that wonderful space to even more schools.”
Target School Library Makeovers utilize the world-class design and construction expertise of Target team members. One way Target incorporates its expertise is with eco-friendly designs and construction practices into each library makeover, including the use of green-certified furniture in partnership with Paragon and Smith Systems and the use of recycled materials and low VOC paint in all locations. Hours of design and sourcing, along with volunteer hours from Target team members, bring these libraries to life.
In support of this effort, Target and The Heart of America Foundation also have teamed up with a number of additional vendor partners nationwide. All partners helped make the project possible through donations and/or discounted pricing of services and supplies.
Schools receiving a library makeover are chosen based on a number of factors, including the students’ reading proficiency, the percentage of students from low-income families and the overall need for library improvement. To learn more about specific schools benefiting from Target School Library Makeovers or to view a time-lapse video of a makeover in action, visit Target.com/libraries
In addition to awarding complete library makeovers to 32 schools, Target is teaming up with First Book®, a national non-profit organization, to provide new books to schools serving in-need students across the country. Each of the more than 1,700 Target stores and distribution centers nationwide will grant a $500 Book Award to a local, in-need school of their choice. The Book Awards will provide each school with new books and reading supplies from First Book, just in time to kick-off the new school year.
Target’s commitment to the communities it serves involves funding education programs that nurture a love of learning and promote literacy among children. The Target School Library Makeovers program is one of the many ways Target supports education by acting locally to help kids learn and schools teach.
Minneapolis-based Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) serves guests at 1,743 stores in 49 states nationwide and at Target.com. Target is committed to providing a fun and convenient shopping experience with access to unique and highly differentiated products at affordable prices. Since 1946, the corporation has given 5 percent of its income through community grants and programs, like Take Charge of Education. Today, that giving equals more than $3 million a week. For more information about Target’s commitment to corporate responsibility, visit Target.com/hereforgood
About The Heart of America Foundation
The Heart of America Foundation (www.heartofamerica.org), a national nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., uniquely combines volunteerism and literacy. The organization’s focus is to provide children in-need everywhere with the tools to read, succeed and make a difference. The Heart of America Foundation puts books into the hands of children who need them the most, while transforming school libraries in underserved communities into vital and vibrant centers of learning that become the heart of a school. Since 1997, the organization has provided children living in poverty with almost 2 million library and take-home books, and engaged volunteers in more than 1 million hours of service to the community.
About First Book
First Book provides new books to children in-need, addressing one of the most important factors affecting literacy — access to books. An innovative leader in social enterprise, First Book has distributed more than 70 million free and low-cost books in thousands of communities. For more information about First Book, please visit www.firstbook.org
*The majority of libraries will be unveiled this fall. Two of the 32 libraries were unveiled earlier in 2010.