We all love Target.
That’s nothing new, right?
The sales rock. The clothes for kids–and adults!–rock. The Dollar Bins rock. The grocery items rock. Those cute brown boots I got last year rock. The toy section rocks. The household items rock. Their diapers rock. Their little cafe rocks. Just about everything about Target rocks.
As an local influencer and a mama who’s all up in education, I was recently invited to spend a morning with some friends from Target to get a first-hand look at why another side of Target rocks–the giving, philanthropic side of Target that not everyone knows about.
I had a chance to chat with them about why Target really is all that when it comes to supporting everything reading, education, and our kids.
Target loves education so much that they’re throwing in a sweet $150 gift card for one lucky teachmama.com reader–and we all know that $150 at Target can come in handy, either as a donation to your school or as a way to make the holidays a bit easier for your family.
And yes, that IS Bridget Mendler of Good Luck Charlie and that IS the Target Bullseye Bus and that IS me standing with them both. Woot!
Here’s the skinny, and here’s why we should all totally heart Target. . .
- Target Supports Education: Grants & Programs that ROCK: Sure, do remember seeing Target at the National Book Festival last year, with a huge area set aside for families and reading.
And I did write about Target’s Read With Me program a few years back. But since then, I have to admit (gulp!) I don’t recall hearing much about Target, which is why it’s so exciting to share these cool programs with you:
- Give With Target: $2.5 million to 100 in-need schools–$25,000 to each school. $2.5 million to schools through a Facebook vote. That’s $5 million to schools and students. That’s a lot of cash. That’s a lot of hope.
That’s incredible. Unbelievable. Fabulous and fantastic.
And I was lucky enough to be there at one school in Baltimore on the morning the principal received her $25,000 check. It was awesome–the children, the staff, the parents, everyone was alive with excitement for education and the promise of success in the year to come.
The morning of the Baltimore #GiveWithTarget event was electric!
- Take Charge of Education: Choose any eligible K-12 school, and we’ll donate 1% of your REDcard purchases at Target.
Jill talks about this program in the video piece above, and it’s something I am really into. I had no idea that for every purchase you make on your Target REDcard, Target will donate 1% to the eligible school of your choice. That really adds up after time.
In fact, my kids’ school has already received over $6000 from Target, and I had no idea. It’s awesome. It’s like free money, so why wouldn’t you enroll in the program? $324 million donated since 1997 and $26 million in the most recent payout.
And if you don’t have a child in school, register your local school, your grandchild’s school, or a school in a low-income area. Why not?
new to me: each Target store can award 3 field trip grants
- Field Trip Grants: Since 2007, Target has donated $16 million in grants, sending 2 million students on 22,500 field trips.
Each Target store will award three Target Field Trip Grants to K—12 schools nationwide—enabling one in 25 schools throughout the U.S. to send a classroom on a field trip. Each grant is valued up to $700.
Each. Target. Store. Awards. THREE. Field. Trip. Grants.
All teachers have to do is apply.
There’s even a snazzy button, banner, poster, and email that can be used to promote a super field trip spot. Awesome.
- Arts, Culture, and Design in School Grants: $2000 to bring arts and culture to classrooms. Magnifique! Muy bueno! Fabuloso!
Apply in March & April for a September grant notification, so you do need a bit of planning here, but it will be well worth it!
And I didn’t know that Target also supported local art & culture in a ton of cities around the country by providing discounted museum admission or free shows. Find a free or reduced-price event near you!
- Early Childhood Reading Grants: Also $2000 with applications in March & April but with an August notification, these grants are geared toward schools, libraries and nonprofit organizations to support programs such as after-school reading events and weekend book clubs.
Target’s all about fostering a love of reading and encouraging children to read with their families, and I think it’s awesome.
- Target School Library Makeovers: I had heard that Target was re-doing some school libraries in a major way, but I had no idea that the make0ver included 2,000 new books, new computers, furniture and other things.
I also didn’t know that each student was given a set of books to take home so the whole family can share in the experience. I love it.
Kids must be fed–and healthy–to learn!
- Meals for Minds: This is totally new-to-me program, but it’s one that I think is so, so, so very important. It’s important because it really shows that we’re talking about the whole child.
It’s education at the most basic level, feeding a child’s physical well-being. In partnership with Feeding America, the Meals for Minds campaign is one that especially hits home this month, September, the Go Orange for Hunger Action Month. Get involved!
Jane O’Connor at last year’s National Book Festival (LOVE her!)
Want more photos from the event? Check out flickr & YouTube!
- Book Festivals: I spent a boatload of time last year in Target’s Family Storytelling Stage at the National Book Festival on the Mall here in DC, but I didn’t realize that they were book festival happy.Like happy in a way that they hit book festivals all overthe country kind of happy.Check out the stage lineup and materials for this year’s Family Storytelling Stage at the National Book Festival, and be sure to check out events local to you as well. And don’t despair if you’re not close to a festival; there are tons of materials for you to use and download from home.
Target really is a book festival happy company!
It doesn’t seem to stop with education, either; Target participates in social service programs, crisis relief programs, and military & veteran support programs, and you can also sign up to volunteer with Target as well. It’s really enough to make me want to dance.
Thanks, Target, for all you do to support education, learning, and families!
this contest is closed, as of 9/21/12. . . many thanks to all who entered and congrats to Elisabeth for her win!
GIVEAWAY: $150 Target gift card
Do you want to win a $150 Target gift card?! SURE you do!!
All you have to do is leave a comment here telling me which of Target’s programs you think is the most awesome!
For extra entries, get creative!!:
- Tweet this:
- Win a $150 @Target gift card on @teachmama http://wp.me/p1NAxy-2bM #GiveWithTarget #weteach #giveaway
- Learn how @Target supports #education on @teachmama http://wp.me/p1NAxy-2bM #GiveWithTarget
- Celebrate #backtoschool win $150 @Target giftcard for your school http://wp.me/p1NAxy-2bM #GiveWithTarget
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By entering this giveaway, you are demonstrating your understanding of and compliance with the Official Sweepstakes Rules.
This giveaway ends Friday, September 21, 2012 at midnight ET. Winner will be chosen by ‘And the Winner is. . .’ and will be notified on or around 9/21/12. Winner must respond within three (3) days of notification or forfeit the prize, in which case an alternate winner will be selected. All Official Sweepstakes Rules apply.
fyi: This is an unsponsored post. As a member of Target’s Inner Circle Program, I was invited to participate in the #GiveWithTarget event and received four backpacks for my school along with a $150 Target gift card to give to one of my readers. My opinions here are all my own, influenced only by my experience as a parent, educator, and longtime fan of Target. Some affiliate links are included.