Target Honors Military Communities and Commemorates Veterans Day by Celebrating Reading and Service from Coast to Coast
MINNEAPOLIS – Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT), along with The Heart of America Foundation,The Mission Continues and hundreds of volunteers, will celebrate the unveiling of newly renovated libraries at Jack Kimbrough Elementary in San Diego on Nov. 10, and Camp Allen Elementary in Norfolk, Va. on Nov. 11. The unveiling events will honor Veterans Day and mark the conclusion of the 2011 Target School Library Makeover program, which included the transformation of 42 elementary school libraries.
This Veterans Day, in addition to the library unveilings at Jack Kimbrough Elementary and Camp Allen Elementary, Target is partnering with The Mission Continues to host 13 other service projects at elementary schools across the country. These projects will bring nearly 1,500 volunteers from Target and The Mission Continues together to volunteer their time and demonstrate their commitment to supporting education, serving the community and honoring military families. Through this collaboration, Target and The Mission Continues hope to strengthen the connection between military and civilian communities through service.
“For the second year in a row, we are concluding our Target School Library Makeover program on Veterans Day, which presents an opportunity for us to unite two commitments Target is passionate about – service and education,” said Laysha Ward, president of community relations, Target. “We are proud to have our wonderful partners join us as we celebrate reading from coast to coast and do our part to ensure more children reach the critical milestone of reading proficiently by the end of third grade.
“More than half of the students at Camp Allen Elementary are from military families and many of them are often uprooted throughout the school year due to relocation and deployment,” said Deena Johnson Copeland, principal, Camp Allen Elementary. “Thanks to Target, The Heart of America Foundation and The Mission Continues, our new library will help to ensure that when our students come to school they feel empowered and excited to learn, regardless of their situation.”
Each library will feature 2,000 new books, plus an additional seven books for students to take home. The libraries will also include eco-friendly design elements, new furniture, carpet and shelves, and complete technology upgrades. In addition to the library makeover, and in partnership with Feeding America San Diego and the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia, Target will incorporate a Target Meals for Minds school-based food pantry site at each school. Knowing that hunger greatly affects a child’s ability to learn, the pantries will provide students and their families with a monthly distribution of staple foods and fresh produce to take home.
“Thanks to Target, The Heart of America Foundation and The Mission Continues, our current and future students will have the resources they need to succeed academically,” said Flavia Soria, principal, Jack Kimbrough Elementary. “As one of the last of 42 schools to receive a newly renovated library this year, we couldn’t think of a better way to honor military families and celebrate reading just before Veterans Day.”
Since the inception of the Target School Library Makeover program in 2007, Target has impacted 118 elementary schools. Through programs such as 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.
About The Mission Continues
The Mission Continues is a highly innovative national nonprofit organization uniquely dedicated to empowering post-9/11 veterans to rebuild a sense of purpose through continued service here at home. Founded in 2007 when Navy SEAL Eric Greitens returned from Iraq, the organization offers paid service fellowships to veterans, awarding over 170 fellowships in 29 states to date. The Mission Continues is reshaping the way this country welcomes home our veterans by showing that these men and women are tremendous assets whose leadership and skills can be vital to their community’s improvement. For more information, please visit http://www.missioncontinues.org.
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