MCLEAN, Va. - Today, a new, first-of-its-kind library opened in Phoenix as the result of a partnership between Homewood Suites by Hilton and early childhood education nonprofit The Books for Kids Foundation. The new library, built at the Booker T. Washington Child Development Center, will ensure that all of the nearly 200 at-risk preschoolers served by the center will have access to brand new books, reading programs and other educational tools that serve as key building blocks for early literacy skills.
"Opening our fourth library in partnership with Books for Kids shines the spotlight on the critical issue of childhood literacy and the great need for education resources among those who have the least," said Carla Raynor, vice president of marketing, Homewood Suites by Hilton. "Celebrating National Literacy Month, the Homewood Suites family is proud to be making an impact in the Phoenix community and others across the country by helping to provide much-needed resources to at-risk children and their families."
The Homewood Suites brand team has been working closely with the center and Books for Kids on the renovation of the space, which was an unused building recently acquired by the group. Included in the transformation are educational and print-rich wall elements, child-like duck benches, a puppet theater with multicultural puppets, high-quality listening center with audio books, and other enriching educational tools and materials provided by Hooked on Phonics, LeapFrog and Sesame Street. The library includes approximately 1,000 new library-quality children's books based on Department of Education and early childhood education experts' recommendations for this age group. There is also a separate multicultural section that the center helped assemble and which reflects the backgrounds and life experiences of the children in this community. Homewood Suites team members from all eight Phoenix area properties worked for weeks to prepare the room, assemble bookshelves, stock new books and put the finishing touches on the new library.
Carla Raynor was joined by Executive Director of Books for Kids, Shawna Hamilton Doster; Phoenix mayoral candidate Greg Stanton; former Councilman Calvin C. Goode; and Director of the Booker T. Washington Child Development Center, Kim Pollins for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
"This library will give the center's youth unprecedented access to the world of literacy and provide them with essential tools they need to be prepared for kindergarten," said Doster. "We are thrilled to continue this partnership with Homewood Suites as we further our mission to develop the literacy skills of young children."
The Booker T. Washington Child Development Center serves at-risk preschoolers, 95 percent of whom are classified as below federal poverty guidelines. The Head Start program began at the center with 60 children in the basement of the 1st Institutional Baptist Church in May 1967. It has since grown to serve a diverse community of nearly 200 students from the immediate neighborhood.
The Phoenix opening is the fourth in a series of Books for Kids libraries that Homewood Suites will open over the next several years, as the Memphis-based, upscale, extended stay hotel brand helps the organization expand nationally. The first three libraries opened in Memphis, Tenn. (July 2010), Washington, DC (September 2010), and Irving, Texas (July 2011).
The more than 300 North American hotels in the Homewood Suites brand participate in literacy events in their communities, including book readings and fundraisers, utilizing the brand's Lewis the Duck book series, which helps explain travel to young children. The series now includes three installments: Lewis the Duck and His Long Trip , Lewis the Duck Goes to Canada and Lewis the Duck Goes to Mexico. Homewood is currently the only hotel brand with an original children's book series.
*Guest pays for groceries. Other restrictions apply.
Director, Brand Public Relations
About Books for Kids
To date, Books for Kids has opened more than 70 libraries stocking approximately 25,000 books and giving away another 5 million. The organization's mission is to provide the resources preschool-aged children and their families need to build a solid foundation for learning and competing academically with their peers. For more information visit www.booksforkids.org
About Homewood Suites by Hilton
Homewood Suites by Hilton, Hilton’s upscale, all-suite, extended-stay hotel brand with more than 400 locations in the United States, Mexico and Canada, is an award-winning leader. The first choice for guests seeking comfortable accommodations when traveling for an extended or quick overnight stay, Homewood Suites offers inviting, generous suites, featuring separate living and sleeping areas, and fully-equipped kitchens with full-size refrigerators. Additional value-driven essentials include: complimentary Internet, a daily full-hot breakfast and complimentary evening social every Monday-Thursday. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else, free standard Wi-Fi and digital amenities like digital check-in with room selection and Digital Key (select locations) available exclusively through the industry-leading Hilton Honors app. Homewood Suites is focused on guest satisfaction and stands behind each stay with its 100% Suite Assurance® guarantee. For more information on the extended-stay advantage, visit www.homewoodsuites.com or news.homewoodsuites.com.
Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company, with a portfolio of 14 world-class brands comprising more than 4,900 properties with over 800,000 rooms in 104 countries and territories. Hilton is dedicated to fulfilling its mission to be the world’s most hospitable company by delivering exceptional experiences – every hotel, every guest, every time. The company's portfolio includes Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Canopy by Hilton, Curio - A Collection by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton by Hilton, Tru by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages an award-winning customer loyalty program, Hilton Honors. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose exactly how many Points to combine with money, an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else and free standard Wi-Fi. Visit newsroom.hilton.com for more information and connect with Hilton on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube.