Target makes donation to HISD Literacy By 3 initiative

The Houston Independent School District will continue to build on its literacy efforts through a $95,000 grant from the Target Corporation.

Today, the district announced that the award gwill be used to support the Literacy By 3 initiative, which aims to have children reading on grade level by the end of the third grade.  Four elementary schools — Martinez, Issacs, DeAnda and Alcott — will receive new leveled classroom libraries. These specialized collections allow teachers to have books readily available at a variety of reading levels, allowing them to meet the needs of each of their students.

“This grant further supports the HISD’s efforts to ensure all children are reading at or above grade level,” said HISD Foundation Executive Director Krista Moser. “Target has adopted these schools, providing dedicated resources in 62 pre-K through fifth-grade classrooms, giving children access to more books that not only empower their imagination but teach them the skills that last a lifetime. We are grateful for Target’s relationship with the HISD Foundation and for their unwavering commitment to literacy.”

Literacy By 3 uses a variety of approaches to help students. Every campus developed a literacy plan that uses a consistent framework while addressing unique needs of students. Each elementary campus received a library organized by reading level and classroom libraries. In addition, each school has appointed a literacy leader to monitor the program’s progress.

The district also has issued a call for 1,500 volunteers to join HISD’s Read Houston Read program to mentor first-graders at more than 50 selected elementary schools. The volunteers’ role will be to listen to the student read a book selected for their level, assist with a brief activity connected to that story, and then follow up by reading to the child. Volunteers can sign up to visit schools in person or to mentor students via the web.

“At Target, we are committed to serving local communities where we do business,” said Laysha Ward, president of community relations for Target. “That’s why we are proud to partner with the HISD Foundation as we work to strengthen communities and enrich the lives of our guests and team members.”

The grant is part of Target’s ongoing efforts to build strong, safe, and healthy communities across the country. These efforts include Target’s long history of giving five percent of its profit to communities, which today equals more than four million every week. Target is on track to give one billion for education by the end of 2015 to help kids learn, schools teach, and parents and caring adults engage.