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Target donates $70,000 to CMS schools

The money will support reading initiatives at 11 struggling schools where a high percentage of students are African American.

Target, the national retail chain, has donated $70,000 to build literacy and third-grade reading skills in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

The grant includes $50,000 to support reading initiatives in the “Achievement Zone,” a cluster of 11 struggling schools that receive additional resources and intensive academic support. A large percentage of those students are African American.

The grant also included $17,500 at other schools to support third-grade reading programs and professional development. Parent University will get $2,500 to assist families with children in third grade.

CMS officials said the grant marks the first time CMS has received money from the retailer.

Nationally, the company gives 5 percent of its income to organizations that support education, the arts, social services and volunteerism.

The grant will provide books and resources for reading clubs at all Achievement Zone elementary and middle schools. Nearly 400 students will participate in sessions to help increase their vocabulary, comprehension and writing skills. Students will also receive new books for their personal libraries.

Target is also funding two literary events at area libraries to encourage reading. Parents and students who attend will receive free books, information on the senior graduation project and strategies to help students pass End-of-Grade and End-of-Course tests.

The company also will provide volunteers at schools to serve as mentors, reading buddies, participate in reading clubs and assist staff at the literary events.

Nineteen schools will receive money from Target. In the Achievement Zone, they are: Billingsville and Shamrock Garden elementary schools; Bishop Spaugh, Martin Luther King, Jr., Sedgefield and Wilson middle schools; Garinger, Midwood, Waddell, West Charlotte and West Mecklenburg high schools.

Elsewhere in CMS, Albemarle Road, Davidson, Endhaven, Lincoln Heights, Matthews, Nations Ford, Smithfield, Sterling and University Meadows elementary schools will receive money.

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