Raising A Reader Receives Second $230,000 Grant from Target to Improve Early Literacy Skills

Mountain View, California (EastBayDaily) — Raising A Reader, a national evidence-based early literacy and family engagement program, announced today that Target Corporation has awarded the organization a $230,000 National Literacy Grant to expand its kindergarten programming to serve 2,200 children and families throughout Arizona, California and Maryland. This is the second consecutive year that Raising A Reader has been a recipient of Target’s National Literacy Grants. In 2011, Raising A Reader reached more than 1,800 children and families in 60 kindergarten classrooms throughout the U.S.

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. In the past six months, more than 100 Target team members have participated in the Raising A Reader program at schools and libraries as a part of this project. By sustaining the grant for another year, Raising A Reader will be able to help even more children and families spend time together sharing books. The 2012/2013 Target-funded Raising A Reader program will launch this fall with literacy launch events in Arizona, California and Maryland.

“The value of investing in early literacy and involving families has been well documented by economists and educational research. Raising A Reader has demonstrated it can help families build the home-based literacy routines critical for academic achievement and lifelong success,” said Gabrielle Miller, Ed.D, national executive director of Raising A Reader. “We are delighted to partner with Target Corporation for a second year. With their support we will bring our evidence-based program to even more children and families throughout the U.S.”

“We’re proud to continue our partnership with Raising A Reader as part of our commitment to investing in the education of our youth,” said Laysha Ward, president, Community Relations, Target Foundation. “Our goal is to provide the resources students need to achieve success and develop a love for learning so that more students can reach reading proficiency by the end of third grade, and in turn, graduate from high school on time.”

Raising A Reader is an evidence-based, scalable and affordable model with proven effects and scalability. Over twenty independent evaluations confirm the positive effects of Raising A Reader on home-based literacy practices essential to academic achievement. Raising A Reader rotates bright red bags filled with award-winning books into children’s homes on a weekly basis, exposing children on average to over 100 books per rotation cycle.

Raising A Reader pairs this book rotation with parent training to effectively share books to promote children’s literacy skills. Families are also connected with their local public and school libraries. Children receive a blue library book bag at the end of the program to keep so that they can continue the practice of borrowing books and build a lifelong habit of reading.

About Raising A Reader Raising A Reader is a national nonprofit organization that has helped families successfully build and sustain literacy routines in their homes since 1999, with special attention to children at highest risk for educational failure. RAR’s mission is to engage caregivers in a routine of book sharing with their children from birth through age eight to foster healthy brain development, healthy relationships, a love of reading, and the literacy skills critical for school success. RAR is one of the most evaluated nonprofit literacy programs in the nation. For more information about Raising A Reader, please visit raisingareader.org.

About Target 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.


Angie Bush