Target pitches in for Living Desert trip

Full story: Topix
Elena Castro was nearly breathless in describing her recent trip to the Living Desert in Palm Desert. “It was really exciting, because I saw all kinds of animals I’ve wanted to see, like a giraffe, a cheetah and a mountain lion,” the 8-year-old third-grader said. “It was really special.” Elena was one of 74 Fremont Primary School third-graders from Calipatria to experience the Living Desert field trip last Friday, a field trip that was made possible this year thanks to Target in El Centro. Due to budget cuts across the state in school funding, Fremont was initially unable to raise the funds necessary to make the annual trip to the Living Desert, which the school’s third-graders have done for eight years now. Yet through a special program at Target, $1,000 was given to the school for the benefit of Elena and her classmates. “The program is called the Target Field Trip Program,” local Target general manager Kyrsten Swanson said during a special “thank you” presentation at Fremont on Friday morning. “It’s a really great program that Target just rolled out two years ago,” she said. “Target recognizes the importance of education outside the school.” Fremont third-grade teacher Carlos Lara, who helped organize the field trip, couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity to continue showing students real-life examples of what they learn in school. “It coordinates very well with our science and social studies, as well as a lot of our desert projects that we do,” Lara said. “They’re able to go out and see firsthand what they’ve read and studied. “We always try to take them up there because a lot of these students never make it outside the Valley,” he said. “It’s their first experience outside the Valley.” Elena’s classmate Louie Mata, 9, said the field trip was intense because through it he found himself face to face with animals he’d only ever read about before. “We got to see a lot of animals, like scorpions, all kinds of birds and lots of predators, like mountain lions,” Louie said, “and there were a lot of reptiles and snakes. Full Story
Quebec Lover

Indio, CA

#1 Apr 2, 2008
I second the Target praises. A few hot summers ago I found out that some of the local kids couldn't use the pools (at SC Park and the Dome) because they didn't have bathing suits. I recalled the bulletin board Walmarts always post so prominently in their stores of all the good they do for the community, so I described our situation out here and asked the WM in La Quinta if they could spare some kids bathing suits--total ignore and give-her-the-run-around seemed to be their policy to my calls, in person visits, and letters.
So I gave up on Walmart because the summer was progressing and not getting any cooler. I asked the Target store down the block and their response was immediate. They gave me a $50 gift certificate (by then, there were plenty of bathing suits on clearance) which I gave to the Youth Center to help the neediest of kids get bathing suits so they could cool off, practice a great sport, and just have fun.

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