Monday, December 09, 2013 9:09 AM
Photo by Alexis A. Goring. Target representative Kashiff Khan presents a $25,000 check to Glenridge Elementary School students and Principal Gloria McCoy on Friday at the Landover Hills school. McCoy says the public elementary school will use the grant funding to purchase books and reading materials to expand classroom libraries.
Published on: Wednesday, September 26, 2012
By Alexis A. Goring
Glenridge Elementary is one of 100 schools nationwide to benefit from Target’s Giveaway Campaign.
On Friday, representatives from the company visited the school to award the principal with $25,000 in grant money to be used for educational needs.
“Target itself believes a lot in giving back to the communities that we serve,” Target representative Kashiff Khan said. “On a weekly basis, we give $3 million away to the communities that we serve. With this program itself and the amount of money we’re giving to education, if we continue on this route, by the year 2015 we would have given as a company $1 billion just to educational institutions in the United States.”
When Glenridge Elementary School Principal Gloria McCoy first learned several weeks ago that her school had been selected as a recipient of this grant, she was “delighted.”
“We were delighted that Glenridge was chosen to be the recipient of the grant, and we immediately started thinking about all the wonderful things that we could do to help students with the money,” she said.
Buying more books and providing more resources to help children advance in their reading are in the works.
“Reading has always been a focus here and we do plan to expand our classroom libraries — that is a priority because we know that reading impacts every aspect of the student’s life,” McCoy said. “We also would like to purchase additional things like the reading tables, the horseshoe tables for the classrooms, but mainly books.”
McCoy has not made this decision by herself — she enlisted the advice of her teachers, and this is what they’ve concluded.
“Our teachers have always been very conscientious, but it always helps to have a little bit of extra equipment and materials to help them do their jobs. And this grant is going to make that possible for them,” McCoy said.
This year, Target is giving $5 million through gift cards and grants to schools that have been sponsored for grants or have won votes for gift cards on the campaign’s Facebook page.
To to receive the grant money, superintendents input the name of the school, and then the corporate offices go through and examine the schools and their need for the money. This year, Target selected three schools in Maryland.
“The second part of that program is that we are giving $2.5 million away through Facebook,” Khan said. “And we’ve invited our guests and we’ve invited the public to vote for their school. For every 25 votes, we give a $25 gift card (to the school), and that can go all the way up to a $10,000 gift card … so that totals $5 million this year.”
The voting on Facebook began last month and will conclude at the end of September.
If Glenridge wins Facebook votes, the school may also get gift cards.
Celebrities, such as Bridgit Mendler from the Disney Channel’s original series “Good Luck Charlie,” have come on board to vote for their own schools and invite the public to vote for the schools they attended when they were growing up. So far, the campaign has been “extremely successful,” but Target is not stopping there — the company has one more surprise.
“Along with that, we’re also surprising another 10 schools, and these are just surprisingly showing up with the Target bus,” Khan said. “We don’t just show up just like that. We’ll speak to the superintendents, we’ll speak to the principals to let them know that we’re surprising them also with $25,000 checks.”
Target’s giveaway campaign, Khan says, could impact the lives of children today and be of benefit as they grow into adulthood.
“We understand the importance of having a well-educated society,” he said. “And we believe that every child should have the right to a great education, and that’s what we’re looking to get out of our giving to these schools.”