NFL players will support Target’s commitment to education by joining hundreds of volunteers at the unveiling celebration
As part of the national Target School Library Makeover program and the NFL Players Association Day of Service, hundreds of volunteers and several current and former NFL players including, Dez Bryant, Chris Gronkowski, Dan Gronkowski, Rob Gronkowski, Chris Draft, John Booty, Nolan Harrison III, Ken Harvey, Dennis Ransom and Scott Turner* will be on-hand to put the finishing touches on the new space. The redesigned library will feature a larger space, 2,000 new books, eco-friendly design elements and a complete technology upgrade. Each student will also receive seven books to take home as part of the event, along with another seven books for each of his or her siblings. This program is part of Target’s commitment to education and plans to donate more than $500 million by the end of 2015 to education, with a focus on helping U.S. children read proficiently.
“Reading is incredibly important to the future success of a child. This library will help to transform the way we teach – providing us with the resources to instill a love of learning and reading in our students,” said Dee Anne Egan, principal of George Peabody Elementary. “Thanks to Target, The Heart of America Foundation and the NFL Players Association, we now have an inspiring place to explore books together.”
In addition to the library makeover, Target will support George Peabody Elementary School and the Dallas Independent School District in two other ways. The first involves a donation of $150,000 to the school district’s Partners in Reading program.
The second involves a grant to the North Texas Food Bank, a Feeding America affiliate, to implement a monthly school-based food pantry site, Meals for Minds. This site will give students and families of George Peabody Elementary the opportunity to choose from a variety of staples and fresh produce to take home. Target currently supports Meals for Minds sites in 49 schools in 13 cities across the country.
“At Target, we understand that learning to read proficiently by the end of third grade is a critical step on the path to graduation, and we are dedicated to funding programs that help children in Dallas and across the nation achieve this important milestone,” said Laysha Ward, president of community relations, Target and Target Foundation. “Through the Target School Library Makeover program, our hope is to make reading fun and help kids reach their full potential by creating libraries that inspire children, teachers, parents and communities.”
Since the Target School Library Makeover program’s inception in 2007, Target has impacted more than 3,000 school libraries nationwide by awarding them with a $500 book award or a complete library makeover. Target has also distributed more than 1 million new books and donated tens of thousands of volunteer hours since the launch of the program. George Peabody Elementary will be the first recipient of this nationwide initiative in 2011.
“The library should be the heart of the school and the space that supports all of the learning that happens within the classroom,” said Angie Halamandaris, president and co-founder of The Heart of America Foundation. “By partnering with Target and the NFL Players Association on this project, we’re able to make a real difference in the lives of children by providing them with the tools and resources they need to succeed.”
As part of the NFL Players Association Day of Service, NFL players will do their part to celebrate literacy by reading to children throughout the day. Bestselling children’s book author, R.L. Stine, will also take part in the celebration and participate in a question and answer session led by students.
“The players of the National Football League are in a unique position to serve as role models on and off the field,” said Willis Whalen, member services manager for the NFL Players Association. “By partnering with Target and The Heart of America Foundation prior to Super Bowl XLV, our players are able to give back to the greater Dallas community and help build a brighter future for children who need it most.”
The Target School Library Makeover program is one way Target is helping to address the education crisis in America and put more kids on the path to graduation. Target plans to announce the remainder of its 2011 Target School Library Makeover recipients later this spring.
Minneapolis-based Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) serves guests at 1,752 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
. For more information, visit Target.com/Pressroom
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 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 the schools.
Since 1997, the organization has provided children living in poverty with over 2 million library and take-home books, and has engaged volunteers in more than 1 million hours of service to the community.
About National Football League Players Association
The National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) is a non-profit, professional sports union that protects the best interests and welfare of all NFL Players. It serves as the exclusive bargaining agent for all NFL players in collective bargaining. Established in 1956, the NFLPA has a long history of assuring proper recognition and representation of players' interests. The NFLPA is governed by a Board of Player Representatives, acting in accordance with the NFLPA Constitution and federal labor laws. The NFLPA's responsibilities include: Representing all players in matters concerning wages, hours and working conditions and protecting their rights as professional football players; Assuring that the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement are met; Negotiating and monitoring retirement and insurance benefits; Providing other member services and activities; Providing assistance to charitable and community organizations; Enhancing and defending the image of players and their profession, on and off the field. For more information, visit http://www.nflplayers.com
*Player names subject to change