Teach The Children

by Country Inns & Suites
Tuesday, June 30, 2009

RIAR Through its unique lending library and partnerships with schools, publishers and educational programs, Country Inns & Suites By Carlson is promoting literacy. The hotel brand also supports teachers with a special educator discount.  By Mark Caskie

Country Inns & Suites continues to expand its Read It & Return Lending Library, which provides free books to guests based on the assurance that they will return the book on their next visit. A variety of titles are available—for both children and adults—at locations throughout the United States and Canada.

Specially designed shelves, resembling a giant book, help to create greater awareness of the Read It & Return Lending Library. With new titles being added several times each year, the lending library offers an opportunity to catch up on reading while on the road.

The library also offers the chance to improve literacy. Each time a book is returned, Country Inns & Suites By Carlson makes a donation to a literacy organization. Since the inception of the lending library in 2001, Country Inns & Suites has donated nearly $600,000 to organizations across the United States, which run the gamut from publishers to television programs to school systems.

“Our lending library is a great way for us to differentiate from our competition while simultaneously showing the heart behind our company,” says Steve Mogck, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Country Inns & Suites By Carlson in the Americas.

Literacy Partnerships

Country Inns & Suites joined with Scholastic Books to provide classroom educational kits to 25,000 fourth- through sixth-grade teachers nationwide. Each of these educational kits, which focused on reading, writing and geography, contained a classroom poster of the United States that included literary landmarks, two in-class lessons for teachers, and a take-home activity for students and their families.

A more recent partnership with the PBS program Reading Rainbow provided support for the Young Writers and Illustrators Contest, designed to honor excellence in storytelling and illustration for children kindergarten to third grade.

And in the spring of 2009, Country Inns & Suites joined with the Junior League of Minneapolis for a book drive that collected more than 15,000 books for St. Louis Park Public Schools in Minneapolis, Minn. The books were used in elementary classrooms and given to individual students in grades K–8 for home reading.

“Our guests are delighted that our hotels offer a guest lending library,” adds Mogck, “and we were pleased to be able to donate additional copies from the collection to help the community where we are based.”

Committed to Educators

And the commitment to teachers doesn’t end with books and kits. For educators on the road, the hotel chain offers a special educator rate. “It’s important that when educators travel—whether for work or on a well-deserved vacation—they have affordable lodging options that also offer convenience and quality,” says Mogck.

You can find a current catalogue of our Read It & Return books & movies* on our website.

*Movies not available in all locations.  Titles vary by location.