BELL Receives $600,000 from Target to Support Literacy Education for Students in Grades K-3
BOSTON, MA - April 10, 2012 - Today, BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life) announced that it has received a $600,000 donation from Target, which will be used to support the Early Readers initiative for students in grades K-3. The Early Readers initiative helps students - whom BELL refers to as "scholars" - strengthen their literacy skills in the BELL Summer and BELL After School programs in urban cities throughout the country. 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, 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.
"With this generous contribution from Target, we will be able to help thousands of scholars learn how to read early on in their academic careers," said BELL CEO Dr. Tiffany Cooper Gueye. "We are extremely grateful for Target's support and its recognition for the significant impact early literacy can have on a child's ability to achieve long-term success in school and in life."
BELL is putting Target's grant to use by partnering with schools and school districts in under-resourced urban communities nationwide. Through its summer learning and after school programs, BELL's staff of teachers and tutors engage struggling students in individualized instruction designed to equip them with the skills and attitude they need to excel. Entering its fourth year, BELL Early Readers is a program established in conjunction with Target as a component of the BELL Summer and BELL After School programs to support K-3 literacy for scholars.
"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 BELL as part of our ongoing commitment to invest in innovative education programs that help keep children on the path to graduation."
Target's grant will support programming in Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Detroit, Newark, New York City, and Springfield (MA). It will enable BELL to hire and train certified teachers, college student tutors, and others to deliver the Early Readers program in targeted public schools in these communities.
BELL, founded in 1992, is one of the nation's leading providers of quality summer and after school educational programs. It is committed to transforming the academic achievements, self-confidence, and life trajectories of children living in under-resourced, urban communities. BELL serves more than 15,000 students - whom BELL recognizes as "scholars" - in public schools throughout Baltimore; Boston; Charlotte; Detroit; Newark; New York City; and Springfield, MA. BELL employs more than 1,500 teachers and tutors across the nation. Please visit www.experienceBELL.org for more information.
Minneapolis-based Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) 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.