• Target’s $5 Million Dollar Education Pledge

    Target Kicks Off The “Give With Target” Education Campaign In South Street Seaport with Disney Star Bridget Mendler

    By Sarah Albert

    Photo Credit: Diane Bondareff/Invision for Target/AP Images

    Target took over the South Street Seaport today to launch the $5 million “Give With Target” education initiative. Despite the rain, families turned out to enjoy the carnival food and craft booths set up to help kick off the campaign. As president of Target community relations Laysha Ward commented, “Rain or shine we are focused on education!”

    Luckily the sun broke through right as the big announcement was made: First, a hundred in-need schools will get $25,000 grants through August that the school can put towards anything they need. This part of the campaign particularly sought out schools where at least 70 percent of the students received free or reduced lunches, to help ensure the funds are going where they’re really needed.

    Four lucky school will also be meeting Bridgit Mendler, star of Disney’s hit show “Good Luck Charlie” and the face of this campaign. She’ll be joining Target’s red bus as it travels around the country, making surprise stops and boosting excitement for school.  “We want the community to know that education is fun and inspiring,” explains Ward.

    To the delight of little Manhattanites, Mendler also made an appearance at the kickoff event today. Anyone who hung out at Target bus this morning could tell she’s still a down-to-earth student, despite the millions who look up to her. It’s clear she doesn’t let being a star get to her head. “I honestly don’t think about it that much. It’s honoring to be considered a role model–I do try to make responsible choices,” said Mendler.

    Photo Credit: Diane Bondareff/Invision for Target

    It’s not difficult to see why Mendler was a natural choice for representing the campaign the campaign. The young star, who will be attending USC in the spring, sees education as a top priority alongside her busy career. “I love learning, and going to college is an important experience that you shouldn’t miss out on,” she said. And that’s exactly what’s at the essence of the initiative: “We’re all about authenticity, and Bridgit is talented and hardworking yet still found time to finish high school and is committed to going to college,” Ward emphasized.

    So what about the other $2.5 million? Where it goes is up to you:

    Through September 8, 2012, the public can vote for their school on Target’s Facebook page. For every 25 votes a school receives, Target donates a $25 gift card. Schools can get a maximum of $10,000 from the campaign.

    This initiative is a part of Target’s goal to donate $1 billion to education by the end of 2015. Target already donates five percent of the company’s income, which equals more than three million dollars a week. Like what they’re doing? Help the current campaign by voting on Facebook today!