A spirited pep rally for reading

Target Reading DayThe New Hope children have read literally every book in the New Hope library, says Mynor Lemus, school director.

They were thrilled this Monday, then, when they were presented with 203 new picture books to explore, thanks to Target-Guatemala—books that will be added to the New Hope library collection.

That wasn’t all. The children were also treated to several stories brought to life, by a professional storyteller who accompanied the Target group and performed for the entire student body. One of the stories was presented with a costumed, dancing main character, backed up by a conga line of Target staff, New Hope teachers, and students.

The books and activities were part of Target’s philanthropic work in the community, which includes grant funding and volunteer activities like this one.

Students also had a chance to play a couple of language games: a tongue twister contest and a challenge to finish the second half of common Guatemalan sayings. Then, the Target staff gathered preschoolers and first graders in small reading circles. They pulled out blankets and spread out to read a couple of stories together. Children listened intently—they were super excited to find out what new books were donated.

All of this excitement for books is a great sign. Over the past few years, we have put a greater focus on developing a love of reading among Common Hope students, in a country with high illiteracy rates and a culture that does not have a strong tradition of reading for pleasure. Early reading skills will do wonders for students’ success throughout their school careers, making it all the more likely that they will graduate from high school. Having funded our New Hope preschool for a number of years, Target knows that reading and early childhood education are big priorities for Common Hope, as they are for a lot of Target’s philanthropy.

Many thanks to Target for your generosity, heart, and enthusiasm.

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