Target Volunteers and The Heart of America Foundation Bring Gift of New Books, Technology, Furniture and Eco-Friendly Design
Today students, families and staff from Beecher Hills Elementary, along with The Heart of America Foundation and Target Volunteers, celebrated the unveiling of its newly renovated library. As part of the Target Volunteers School Library Makeover program, Beecher Hills Elementary received a complete transformation this summer, including 2,000 new books, technology, paint, lighting, carpet, shelving, customized wall art and murals, as well as reading corners – all just in time for the new school year. In addition, every student walked away with seven new books to add to their own at-home reading collection.
As education budgets continue to get cut, today’s celebration comes at an opportune time. In fact, more than 600 students, school staff, community members and volunteers attended the makeover today to celebrate the much-needed addition of new resources.
“The renovation of the media center provides resources to enrich literacy for all of our students,” said Beecher Hills Principal Crystal Jones. “This is so important because it is at the elementary level where students develop a love of reading. In addition to the literacy resources, Target is also provide technology resources, and those new resources will not only provide the media specialist with the methods needed to integrate technology, but our teachers will also have access to the resources that will enhance our instruction and take us to higher levels of achievement.”
As part of the Target Volunteers School Library Makeover program, a total of sixteen schools across the country, including Beecher Hills Elementary, were awarded with a complete library makeover, featuring everything from eco-friendly design elements, such as new green certified furniture from Paragon and Smith Systems, to new resources and added technologies, including computers. The school selection criteria included the percentage of low-income children and overall need for library improvement. The unveilings are scheduled to take place throughout September and October 2009.
“This partnership provides a wonderful opportunity for our team members in Atlanta to give to their community by providing volunteer time directly to a school library in their hometown,” said Laysha Ward, president, community relations, Target. “Because education is a top priority for our guests, programs like the Target Volunteers School Library Makeovers allow our team members to provide students the tools they need to learn, thrive and succeed.”
The school library makeover was led by local Target Volunteers who contributed their time and talent to the project. In fact, the Target Property Development team provided specialized business knowledge through a variety of unique pro bono services, which included leveraging their design, construction and project management expertise to help with the significant updates to the libraries.
In addition, this year more than 1,600 Target stores and Distribution Centers nationwide also were involved – providing a $500 book award to a local school. The volunteer initiative builds on the company’s commitment to education and volunteerism.
“Through our partnership with Target, we are able to provide schools with a top-of-the-line library equipped with the books and technology that students and teachers need to reach the highest educational standards and goals,” said Angie Halamandaris, president, The Heart of America Foundation. “Not only are we able to give children an inspiring new library with the necessary supplies, but we’re providing them with community partners and volunteers who are dedicated to helping students grow and succeed.”
In support of this effort, Target and The Heart of America Foundation teamed up with general contractor Stewart Perry, as well as 3M, GrafixShoppe, Vomela, Greenstar and TK Products. All partners helped make the project possible through donations and/or discounted pricing of services and supplies.
Minneapolis-based Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) serves guests at 1,719 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.
About The Heart of America Foundation
The Heart of America Foundation’s focus is to provide children everywhere in need with the tools to read, succeed and make a difference. A national nonprofit headquartered in Washington, DC, its programs uniquely combine volunteerism and literacy. Since 1997, the organization has provided children living in poverty with over 1.52 million books, and has helped volunteers serve more than 1 million hours giving back to the community through these efforts.