Soon, a group of Chandler students who don't have easy access to books year-round will get the opportunity to join a summer reading program at their school.
And those same students may get a chance to see one of the Seven Wonders of the World: the Grand Canyon.
Last week, Target announced that Galveston Elementary School will receive a $100,000 grant, one of 50 being awarded across the country.
Mike Henderson, principal at the school, said the cheers from the teachers and students when they were told were "overwhelming."
The public was given the opportunity to nominate a school for the Target grant. Galveston, located in a low-socio-economic area of the community, was one of three schools in Arizona to receive the honor.
Henderson said most of the money will be to support literacy.
"We will focus our attention on summer reading efforts as well as purchasing additional books for children and resources for teachers. We want all of our students reading at grade level by the time they are in third grade," he said.
Henderson cited research that shows students in high poverty areas, like the Galveston neighborhood, don't have easy access to reading materials. There isn't a large bookstore on the corner. Grocery store magazine and book selections are smaller than in higher-income areas, he said. And without summer reading, children from lower income families may experience a 2.6 month loss in reading growth, he said.
"We want to combat this reading gap by providing our children with more opportunities to read so that our Galveston students can bridge this overwhelming gap," he said.
Henderson also hopes to take groups of children to the Grand Canyon, as well as other Arizona spots to teach them about the state, such as copper mines, caves and American Indian historical spots.
"We would love to provide our students with the opportunity to travel to some of these educational Arizona locations through organized field trips," he said.
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