Target: The Inner Circle

Today is a great day.  Today I can finally share some very exciting news with all of you…

Let me back up for just a minute.  You might have noticed that I never really traveled down the road of advertising on Practical Parenting.  It’s not that opportunity didn’t knock a few times, it’s just that I didn’t want to force you to stare at ads for products that have little to do with parenting or read posts about products that wouldn’t appeal to you.  We’ve created a wonderful little community here, you and I, and I didn’t want to grab every opportunity that came my way just because I could.

But I’ve always believed that when something really great comes around, something that has the potential to truly make a difference in this world, you get on board.  There are companies out there that we all know and love that are also doing great things to improve the lives of children and parents all over this country.

And one of those companies is Target.

Did you know, for instance, that Target is committed to helping more children to learn to read proficiently by the end of third grade and is on track to give $1 billion dollars for education, with a focus on reading, by the end of 2015?  Did you also know that their School Library Makeover program, launched in 2007 in partnership with the Heart of America Foundation, aims to impact 150 in-need elementary schools by the end of 2012?  Target is also working with school districts in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. to develop a literacy pilot program.

Target is on a mission to help kids learn to read.  And that…is my kind of mission.

I’ve worked with kids with learning disabilities for years.  I’ve worked with inner city kids who had very few resources at their fingertips.  And, yes, I’m talking about pencils and erasers.  I’ve worked with kids who didn’t have enough to eat and therefore lacked the necessary energy to pay attention in class.  I’ve worked with kids who never once visited a library.

Reading is the great escape.  Reading opens up imaginary worlds and brings facts and figures to life.  Learning to read is not negotiable.

There are children and families all over this country who need the very services that Target is committed to providing.  I believe, from the bottom of my heart, that we all need to help one another through life.  I was lucky enough to have a great start in life, including the very best teachers at some of the very best schools in Connecticut.  I have never once forgotten the teachers who helped when I needed help and pushed when I needed to be pushed.  I have never once taken for granted the opportunities that paved the way for me to end up right where I am today.

And I’ve been doing my best to pay it forward ever since.

When Target asked me to join their Target Inner Circle program, I practically jumped through the phone.  I am honored to have been chosen for, and thrilled to take part in, this incredible program.

In working with Target Inner Circle I will share with you some of the great work they are doing for literacy, tell you about some great new products for kids and families, and maybe even share a few things with you along the way.

I can’t wait.

Tomorrow I’m off to take part in a School Library Makeover program event right here in Los Angeles…and I look forward to telling you all about it.

As always, thank you for your unending support of this wonderful parenting community, and please join me in supporting Target’s efforts to promote literacy across this great nation of ours.

Stay tuned…

About Katie

Katie Hurley is a Child, Adolescent, and Family Psychotherapist and Parenting Expert in Los Angeles, CA. She works in private practice in the South Bay area of Los Angeles, writes for PBS Parents, Washington Post Parents, and the Huffington Post. She is the author of "The Happy Kid Handbook: How to Raise Joyful Children in a Stressful World" (Tarcher/Penguin, 2015) and "No More Mean Girls: The Secret to Raising Strong, Confident, and Compassionate Girls" (Penguin Random House, 2018)