Local school is one of 42 schools across the country to receive 2,000 new books and a new library space as part of the Target School Library Makeover program
DETROIT (October 21, 2011) – Golightly Education Center, along with Target Corp.® (NYSE:TGT), The Heart of America Foundation® and Target volunteers, revealed the school’s newly renovated library. The unveiling celebration was the first time students and teachers have seen the space since the renovation process began four weeks ago. The brand new library features 2,000 books, eco-friendly design elements, a complete technology upgrade including iPads, as well as new furniture, carpet and shelves. As part of the library unveiling event, each student and his or her siblings will also receive seven new books to keep for their home libraries.
Knowing that hunger greatly affects a child’s ability to learn and focus in the classroom, Target also incorporated a Target Meals for MindsSM school-based food pantry site as part of the school’s renovation process. The food pantry will allow Golightly Education Center students and their families to choose from a variety of staple foods and fresh produce to take home.
The renovated library is part of the national Target School Library Makeover program through which Target revitalizes local school libraries, with a focus on helping children read proficiently by the end of third grade. Golightly Education Center is one of 42 schools chosen by Target and The Heart of America Foundation to receive a complete library makeover this year.
“Studies show that reading proficiency directly correlates to graduation rates, which is why we strive to foster a child’s passion for reading at an early age,” said Laysha Ward, president of community relations, Target and Target Foundation. “Through the Target School Library Makeover program, we’re helping children across the country learn to love reading by giving them the tools they need, including an inspiring library space, new books, computers and more.”
Local Target team members volunteer their time and talent to each renovation project. Additionally, the Target Property Development team and local vendors provide specialized business knowledge through a variety of unique pro bono services that include leveraging their design and construction expertise.
“Through our partnership with Target and our involvement in the Target School Library Makeover program, we are lucky enough to unveil dozens of libraries each year,” said Angie Halamandaris, president and co-founder of The Heart of America Foundation. “The ribbon cutting ceremony is such a special time for the school, students and parents, and it is one that we treasure as well. It is a great experience to welcome these young students into their brand new library space and watch the excitement on their faces. It is programs such as this one that make reading fun and foster a lifelong love of learning.”
By the end of 2011, Target will have transformed a total of 118 elementary school libraries through the Target School Library Makeover program, which represents an investment of more than $22 million.
The Target School Library Makeover program is just one example of how Target is making an impact in local communities and helping to foster a love of reading among children nationwide. By designing inspiring spaces where students can learn, and putting more books into their hands, the company hopes to reinforce the important role reading plays in shaping a child’s future. Through programs like this one, Target is on track to give $1 billion for education, with a focus on reading, by the end of 2015.
Minneapolis-based Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) serves guests at 1,767 stores across the United States and at Target.com. The company will open its first stores in Canada in 2013. In addition, the company operates a credit card segment that offers branded proprietary credit card products. Since 1946, Target has given 5 percent of its income through community grants and programs; 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 (http://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.