As part of its 2012 Target School Library Makeover program, Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Target Corp will be renovating libraries at 32 elementary schools around the nation. In addition, the 118 libraries that have already been part of the Makeover program will get additional reading resources for both teachers and students.
The renovation projects will be done in partnership with The Heart of America Foundation and in addition to improved facilities that will include bookshelves, carpeting and furniture, their collections will be expanded by an infusion of 2,000 new books. They will also benefit from a complete technological upgrade that includes new iPods for the patrons and staff to use.
“At Target, we understand that a quality education can empower and prepare children to become the leaders of tomorrow,” said Laysha Ward, president, community relations, Target. “Through the Target School Library Makeover program and collaboration with partners, educators,parents and caring adults, Target hopes to pave a path to graduation for more U.S. children.”
The company is planning to spend $12 million on the refurbishment, in addition to donating the work of its in-house design and construction teams, and employee volunteers. The effort goes towards fulfillment of the company’s commitment to spend $1 billion improving education nationwide by 2015.
In addition to transforming 32 elementary school libraries, Target will show its continued support of the program’s previous library makeover recipients. Target plans to provide $1.5 million in reading grants to more than 100 of these alumni schools. The remaining schools will benefit from a literacy pilot that Target is launching in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. school districts. These districts were chosen based on in-depth research from third-party experts. The literacy program is an addition to a pilot that was launched at six Minneapolis elementary schools in 2011 and is focused on improving reading proficiency by the end of third grade.
Target School Library Makeover isn’t the only program aimed at schools. Those selected to participate will also get an opportunity to take advantage of the Target Meals for Minds food pantry which is the company’s effort to improve academic outcomes by combating childhood hunger. To achieve this, Target partners with local Feeding America affiliates to distribute fresh fruit, vegetables and other staples to the participating schools on a monthly basis.