December 19, 2003 Center for the Book Announces Target Stores as its First National Retail Sponsor of "Letters About Literature"

Press Contact: Bibi Marti (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: (202) 707-5221

The Library of Congress' Center for the Book is pleased to announce that Target Stores has become the first national retail sponsor of "Letters About Literature," a popular reading and writing program for children and young adults. "This is a wonderful development that gives 'Letters About Literature' new national visibility and participation, a new graphic identity and stronger ties to the educational community," said John Y. Cole, Director of the Center for the Book.

In addition to providing administrative support and awards to state and national winners, Target will sponsor the six national "Letters About Literature" winners, their parents or legal guardians and one of their teachers who will attend the 2004 National Book Festival, where the students will read their winning letters.

Developed in the 1980s, "Letters About Literature" is a program in which students write a letter to a favorite author, past or present, and explain how that author's book has changed their self-awareness or view of the world. Affiliated centers for the book in 41 states and the District of Columbia and more than 40,000 students throughout the nation are participating in the 2004 "Letters About Literature" program.

The headquarters for the "Letters About Literature" program is at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, PA. The program is also sponsored in part by Weekly Reader Corp. For additional information about "Letters About Literature," visit its site at, call the Center for the Book at (202) 707-5221, or contact the national program director, Catherine Gourley, at Target Stores, along with its parent company, Target Corp., gives back more than $2 million a week to its local communities through grants and special programs. Target was a contributor to the 2002 and 2003 National Book Festival.

The Center for the Book, established in 1977, uses the resources and prestige of the Library of Congress to stimulate public interest in books, reading, literacy and libraries. Its program is supported by contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations. For further information about the national center and the activities of its affiliates in 50 states and the District of Columbia, consult its Web site at


PR 03-212
ISSN 0731-3527