Homewood Suites by Hilton Opens Fifth Books for Kids Library in the U.S.

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Homewood Suites by Hilton Opens Fifth Books for Kids Library in the U.S.

Brand’s Second Sponsored Library in Memphis to Benefit Nearly 200 Children at the Hanley Head Start Center
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Homewood Suites by Hilton opened its fifth reading library in conjunction with early childhood education group, Books for Kids, on June 18, 2012 in Memphis, TN. L-R: Ron Brown, Handley Head Start Center Operations Manager; Shawna Doster, Books for Kids Executive Director; Bill Duncan, Homewood Suites by Hilton Global Head of Brand Management; Dottie Jones, Shelby County Divisional Director of Community Services; and, Alfunsia Merriwether, Hanley Head Start Center Family and Community Partnership Manager

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - 1:00pm

CONTENT: Press Release

(3BL Media) McLean, VA - July 24, 2012 - A new children’s library has opened in Memphis, TN as the result of a collaboration between Homewood Suites by Hilton and early childhood education nonprofit The Books for Kids Foundation. The new Homewood Suites Books for Kids Library at the Hanley Head Start Center, located at 2635 Spottswood Avenue, will ensure that all of the more than 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. 

Joined by Dottie Jones, divisional director of community Services for Shelby County, Jeremy Jordan, a representative from U.S. Congressman’s Steve Cohen’s office, and Bill Duncan, global head of brand management for Homewood Suites by Hilton, Duncan’s son Christian read to a group of 15 children, selecting the latest book from Homewood’s “Lewis the Duck” children’s book series, Lewis The Duck Lends a Helping Wing.  Authored by Duncan and his son Christian, the fourth edition of the series centers on the theme of giving back to one’s community, which is central to Homewood’s corporate culture and the driving force behind the brand’s collaboration with Books for Kids and company-wide commitment to local reading programs.

“Sadly, in Memphis only 43.9 percent of third-graders scored ‘proficient or above’ in reading in 2011*,” noted Duncan.  “Opening our second library in Memphis in collaboration 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.”

The Homewood Suites brand team worked closely with the center and Books for Kids teams on the renovation of the space, which was previously a somewhat neglected storage room.  Suites team members from the corporate headquarters and three Memphis area properties worked for weeks to prepare the room, assemble bookshelves, stock new books and put the finishing touches on the library. 

The Hanley Head Start Center serves at-risk preschoolers, 95 percent of whom are classified as below federal poverty guidelines.  The Head Start program began in the Orange Mound area in 1985. It has since grown to serve a diverse community of nearly 200 students from the immediate neighborhood.

“We are hopeful that our Memphis Books for Kids libraries will help the Tennessee Department of Education reach their goal of ensuring 60 percent of all Tennessee third-graders read at a proficient level or above by 2014*,” added Duncan.  “The Homewood Suites family is proud to be making an impact in our Memphis community and other cities across the country, providing much-needed resources to at-risk children and their families.”

The Memphis opening is the fifth in a series of Books for Kids libraries that Homewood Suites will open over the next several years, as the upscale, extended stay hotel brand helps the New York-based literacy advocacy expand nationally.  The first four libraries opened in Memphis, Tenn. (July 2010), Washington, DC (September 2010), Irving, Texas (July 2011) and Phoenix, AZ (September 2011).  With each open library, hundreds of children are being provided access to resources and opportunities previously unavailable, furthering Homewood Suites’ mission to improve literacy amongst youth and impact the communities where Homewood properties are located.

*According to a recent children’s literacy editorial story in The Commercial Appeal



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

Launched in 1989, the Homewood Suites by Hilton brand today has more than 300 hotels open with approximately 80 in the development pipeline. Beyond its spacious suites and home-like amenities, additional guest features include an on-site Suite Shop convenience store, complimentary grocery shopping services*, a complete business center, and laundry services at most locations. For more information, please visit www.homewoodsuites.com

In 2011, Hilton Worldwide launched Travel with Purpose, our commitment to providing shared value to our business and communities around the world. Travel with Purpose is built on four areas of focus -- creating opportunities for individuals to reach their full potential; strengthening communities where we operate; celebrating cultures and the power of travel; and living sustainability through the measurement, analysis and improvement of our use of natural resources.  For more information visit, www.HiltonWorldwide.com/corporate-responsibility/.

About Hilton Worldwide

Hilton Worldwide is the leading global hospitality company, spanning the lodging sector from luxurious full-service hotels and resorts to extended-stay suites and mid-priced hotels. For 93 years, Hilton Worldwide has offered business and leisure travelers the finest in accommodations, service, amenities and value. The company is dedicated to continuing its tradition of providing exceptional guest experiences across its global brands. Its brands are comprised of more than 3,800 hotels and timeshare properties, with 630,000 rooms in 91 countries and include Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Hotels, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages the world-class guest reward program Hilton HHonors®. Visit www.hiltonworldwide.com for more information and connect with Hilton Worldwide at www.facebook.com/hiltonworldwide, www.twitter.com/hiltonworldwide, www.youtube.com/hiltonworldwide, www.flickr.com/hiltonworldwide and www.linkedin.com/company/hilton-worldwide.


*Guest pays for groceries. Other restrictions apply.



Jennifer Hughes
+1 (901) 374-6518
Homewood Suites & Home2 Suites by Hilton

CONTENT: Press Release