Raising A Reader Receives $250,000 Grant From Target As Part Of The Retailer’s Longstanding Commitment To Education and Reading

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Raising A Reader, a national nonprofit organization offering local agencies an evidence-based early literacy and parent engagement program, announced today that it has received a $250,000 grant from the Target Foundation to expand into kindergarten programs.

Raising A Reader, a national nonprofit organization offering local agencies an evidence-based early literacy and parent engagement program, announced today that it has received a $250,000 grant from the Target Foundation. The grant will provide a critical boost to Raising A Reader’s expansion into kindergarten programs by serving 1,800 children in more than 72 classrooms in Alameda and Santa Clara Counties in Calif., Phoenix and Mesa in Ariz. and Baltimore in Md.

This contribution is part of Target’s commitment to helping more U.S. children reach the critical academic milestone of reading proficiently by the end of third grade. This fall specifically, Target is donating a total of $50 million to educators, schools and nonprofit organizations across the country to help ignite a love of learning among children.

“We are delighted to be expanding the Raising A Reader program into kindergarten where our evidence-based model will help children achieve school success,” said Gabrielle Miller, Ed.D, national executive director of Raising A Reader. “We are extremely thankful to the Target Foundation for supporting us in our expansion efforts.”

Many Raising A Reader affiliates have successfully continued to implement the program past pre-k and into kindergarten. The Target Foundation grant will allow more Raising A Reader affiliates in the named markets to expand their services into kindergarten programs.

“To ensure more students are reading proficiently by the end of third grade, and in turn, graduating from high school on time, Target is dedicated to providing resources to help bring learning to life,” said Laysha Ward, President, Community Relations, Target. “We’re proud to partner with Raising A Reader as part of our ongoing commitment to invest in innovative education programs that help keep children on the path to graduation.”

The Raising A Reader program helps families develop a regular book sharing routine at home, by rotating bright red bags filled with award-winning books into the homes of pre-school and kindergarten children on a weekly basis. Parents are coached on effective ways to read with their young children and stay involved in their education. At the culmination of the program, children receive a blue library bag to further foster the practice of borrowing books and family book sharing – or “book cuddling.” The Raising A Reader program is managed locally by affiliates, a diverse set of agencies in local communities, and is one of the most cost-effective of its kind, with an average cost of $35 annually per child throughout a five-year period.

About Raising A Reader
Raising A Reader is a nonprofit organization offering local agencies an evidence-based early literacy and parent engagement program that has demonstrated to improve the reading readiness skills of children from birth to age five. With research showing the educational and economic importance of investing in high-quality early learning programs, Raising A Reader has set a long-term goal of reaching one million children and families. The organization serves 111,000 children through its 2,500 affiliate sites across the country, and since its founding has reached more than 800,000 children working with organizations such as United Way, Head Start, home visiting programs and school districts. For more information about Raising A Reader, please visit raisingareader.org.

About Target
Minneapolis-based Target Corporation serves guests at 1,762 stores in 49 states nationwide and at Target.com. 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

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Tulin Melton
Raising A Reader
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