Jane A. Neil Elementary, in the Chatham neighborhood of Chicago, is the recipient of a new state-of-the-art library, compliments of the Target School Library Makeover program and The Heart of America Foundation. The school also received a Target Meals for Minds food pantry designed to combat hunger and its impact on learning by providing monthly distributions of fresh produce and staple foods to students and their families. The pantry was provided in partnership with the Greater Chicago Food Depository.
The new library features 2,000 new books, furniture, new carpet and shelves, and a complete technology upgrade, including new iPads. In addition, the program provided seven new books for each of the school’s 313 students to take home following the unveiling of the new library on Thursday, October 11.
“The new library and food pantry are amazing gifts for our school and our students,” said Tawane Knox, principal, Jane A. Neil Elementary. “Thanks to Target and The Heart of America Foundation, our students have the resources they need to feel inspired and ready to learn when they walk through our school doors.”
Target is a longtime supporter of Chicago public school education, contributing more than $5 million in 2011 alone. In addition to funding the Target School Library Makeovers program, Target’s support has included Target Field Trip Grants, which awarded grants to 58 CPS schools during the 2011-2012 school year to fund learning opportunities outside of the classroom, and Take Charge of Education, which has donated $324 million to local K-12 schools across the nation since 2007.
Target also plans to award $15,000 reading grants to three Chicago schools that previously received library makeovers including Phillip D. Armour Elementary School (2008), Joseph Brennemann Elementary School (2010) and George Manierre Elementary School (2011).
“At Target, we understand that a quality education is integral to the success of a child’s future,” said Laysha Ward, president of Community Relations, Target. “Through the Target School Library Makeover program, we aim to pave a path to graduation for more U.S. students by equipping them with the resources they need to excel in the classroom and beyond.”