The Heart of America Foundation has found many enthusiastic partners to assist in accomplishing its mission of putting books into the hands of children who need them most. Through a partnership with Target and with the help of passionate volunteers, the organization renovates school libraries across the country under the Target School Library Makeover program. 

Since the organization was founded in 2007, 118 school libraries have been renovated and transformed. The schools selected for renovations usually serve underprivileged children in low-income communities. 

Critical to accomplishing this impressive feat are the construction contractors guiding the library renovations. For library renovation projects at Valley Vista Elementary School in Albuquerque, N.M., and the Fay Herron Elementary School in North Las Vegas, Nev., the foundation turned to Roche Constructors, Inc., which has offices in Nevada, Colorado and Texas. With a long history of community service—donating time and money to the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s Race for the Cure, the Boys & Girls Club and Habitat for Humanity—Roche jumped at the opportunity to lend its construction skills to such a great cause. 

After removing existing books, volunteers demolished the outdated libraries and rebuilt based on a design completed by Target and the Heart of America Foundation. In both schools, Roche redid the wiring and added new shelving, furniture, carpeting and a circulation desk, as well as brightened up the room with colorful artwork and interior design elements. 

“The quality of the environment in which these kids are learning really makes a huge difference in their education,” says Wade Pope, vice president of operations for Roche Constructors. “This has been the most rewarding project we’ve ever done.” 

The ribbon-cutting ceremony at Fay Herron Elementary School was much anticipated, with students counting down the days until the library’s unveiling. A mariachi band performed for students and their families, and Target brought in about 150 volunteers to help the event run smoothly. In addition to the 2,000 new books gifted to the library by the Heart of America Foundation and Target, the updated library contains 10 new computers and 10 iPads. Students who attended the unveiling also received seven new books to start their own collection at home. For many of the children, these were the first books they ever owned. 

“By providing each library with new books and technology, we are equipping teachers and students with the resources they need to excel academically,” says Jill Hornbacher, manager of communications for Target. “The new library space for many communities across the country has not only become a resource center, but a hub where people gather.” 

Hornbacher further expressed her appreciation for the construction contractors that made the renovation possible. “Not only were our contractors excited, but they also were passionate and determined to create a welcoming and fun learning environment for students.”