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 Target Continues to Support Migrant Reading

​​​​Continued financial support from Target has helped the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) provide one-on-one tutoring to help students from migrant families read.

Over the past three years, the retailer has given $200,000 to SDCOE for its Migrant Literacy Project, which focuses on boosting fluency and comprehension for children in kindergarten through 3rd grade who come from migrant families.

In the upcoming school year, Target has committed another $25,000 to the effort.

“We are very grateful to Target for supporting this effort,” said Sheli Silva Davis, executive director of SDCOE’s Migrant Education unit.

That money has gone to hire tutors, buy books and offer professional learning opportunities.

In the upcoming school year, the effort will focus on students in first, second, and third grades. In order to help more children, the tutoring lessons may grow from one student per tutor to small groups of three students, Silva Davis said.

Students get 15-minute sessions with tutors to practice reading either at lunch or after school.  With more students at a time, per tutor, each session may expand to 30 minutes.

Teachers and principals have noticed the difference in the increased literacy skills, Silva Davis said.

“These children are really improving their reading fluency and comprehension skills,” she said. “Fifteen minutes of reading has such a huge impact.”

Up to seven schools in Northern San Diego County and one in Orange County have implemented the program, which reaches almost 200 students a year. The schools with a high percentage of students from migrant families were selected to participate. The tutors often come from migrant families and have a way with connecting with the students.

As part of the program, the Migrant Education unit organizes family literacy nights at the campuses. These nights give families the chance to improve their reading skills together. Tutors show parents effective ways to read with their children and discuss a book’s content.  This parent training to emphasize the impact that their engagement can have on their children’s academic success is crucial to the success of the Migrant Literacy Project.

The grant is part of Target's ongoing efforts to build strong, safe and healthy communities across the country. These efforts include Target's long history of giving 5 percent of its profit to communities, which today equals more than $4 million every week. As part of this commitment, Target is on track to give $1 billion for education by the end of 2015 to help kids learn, schools teach and parents and caring adults engage.

"At Target, we are committed to serving local communities where we do business," said Laysha Ward, president of community relations for Target. "That's why we are proud to partner with San Diego County Office of Education as we work to strengthen communities and enrich the lives of our guests and team members."