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Associated Press, Published September 24 2010

Target to spend more than $500 million on education

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Target Corp. will spend more than $500 million on education through 2015 as the company refocuses its philanthropy on a new reading push and other school programs.

An executive with the retail chain announced the new focus at a media conference in Minneapolis Friday.

Target community relations president Laysha (LAY-sha) Ward says the Target Read With Me initiative aims to get third-graders reading proficiently, a goal that should help more students graduate from high school. The program asks adults to read regularly to a child, with Target donating two million books to needy children and starting a reading center in the Twin Cities.

Target donates 5 percent of its income to community programs, amounting to $187 million last year. The new push will double the amount Target has spent to da0te on education through programs like school library makeovers.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.