"For 40 years, PEOPLE has celebrated amazing educators who are changing the lives of their students and paving the way for a new generation of American leaders," said Jess Cagle, Editorial Director of PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly. PEOPLE Publisher, Karen Kovacs, adds, "We are excited to continue our longstanding relationship with MLB, an organization that shares Time Inc.'s commitment to recognizing outstanding teachers. We thank Target for their participation, and encourage all fans and readers to nominate a teacher who has made a positive impact in their lives."
"I am truly blessed and humbled that Target has asked me to participate in a campaign that means so much to my family," said Carlos Beltran. "My wife, Jessica and I built the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy from the ground up and understand the importance that quality educators bring to young children today. I couldn't be more excited to work with Target, MLB, and PEOPLE in honoring the true superstars, our teachers."
"I am really excited about my partnership with Target, which gives me an opportunity to get further involved in the education of our youth," said Adrian Gonzalez. "My wife, Betsy, and I have always had a passion and hunger for the education of young people. In fact, one of the tiers in our foundation is education. We currently have over 50 students on scholarship through our scholarship fund. I am looking forward to doing amazing work along with Target, MLB, and PEOPLE with this program."
Beltran, an outfielder for the New York Yankees, was named the winner of the 2013 Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet for his positive contributions on and off-the-field including sportsmanship and community involvement. Carlos and Jessica Beltran founded the Carlos Beltran Foundation with the mission of empowering young people to achieve their dreams through sports and education. The Foundation strives to provide a dynamic learning experience where young people can develop and enhance their athletic gifts and excel academically. As part of the Foundation's efforts, the Beltrans opened the "Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy" (CBBA) in Puerto Rico, which was created to develop talented young athletes while offering a first-rate education in a specialized training program that teaches students to approach their academic career with discipline. Beltran, who has personally given more than $4 million toward the Academy, created the CBBA as a means of giving others the opportunities that he did not have when he was a teenager in Puerto Rico.
Los Angeles Dodgers All-Star first baseman and Gold Glove recipient Adrian Gonzalez married his high school sweetheart and together they run the Adrian and Betsy Gonzalez Foundation. The charity is focused on empowering the underprivileged youth in areas of athletics, education and health. Gonzalez also supports education with The Adrian Gonzalez Scholarship program that was founded in San Diego, continued in Boston and will start in Los Angeles in 2014. The Adrian Gonzalez Scholarship program provides financial assistance to underprivileged students attending four-year colleges and universities. Scholarships are granted to students from low- to middle-income families with strong academic records who are involved in a balance of community, school and work activities with a focus on community service. There are currently over 50 Adrian Gonzalez scholars in college and the graduation rate is over 90 percent. In addition to his personal foundation, Gonzalez is very active in the community. A few of the organizations he supports include: Eastlake High School's baseball program (his alma mater), the South Bar family YMCA, the San Diego Chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Gonzalez was the 2007 winner of the Chairman's Award, presented annually to the player that best personifies the philanthropic spirit of Padres Chairman John Moores and his family. Gonzalez's community involvement extends to Mexico as he financially supports two baseball fields in Tijuana, Mexico for youth.
In addition to their efforts engaging fans to participate in Target presents "PEOPLE All-Star Teachers," Beltran and Gonzalez will join Target and MLB in sharing stories about education's role in shaping our future and attend Target-hosted events in MLB communities throughout the first half of the season.
About Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball (MLB) is the longest running professional sports league in the United States and consists of 30 member Clubs in the U.S. and Canada, representing the highest level of professional baseball. Under the guidance of its ninth Commissioner, Allan H. (Bud) Selig, MLB has experienced dramatic changes including Interleague Play, the introduction of the Wild Cards, the new expanded Postseason format, the most comprehensive drug testing program in U.S. professional sports, an unprecedented era of labor peace, significant revenue sharing among the Clubs and growth in revenue from $1.2 billion in 1992 to more than $8 billion in 2013. The last ten years have produced the ten best-attended individual seasons in MLB history, including more than 74 million fans in 2013. With the continued success of MLB Network, MLB Advanced Media and the MLB Fan Cave, the National Pastime is consumed more often and in more ways than ever before. For more information on Major League Baseball, visit mlb.mlb.com.
Minneapolis-based Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) serves guests at 1,921 stores - 1,797 in the United States and 124 in Canada - and at Target.com. Since 1946, Target has given 5 percent of its profit through community grants and programs; today, that giving equals more than $4 million a week. For more information about Target's commitment to corporate responsibility, visit target.com/corporateresponsibility.
PEOPLE revolutionized personality journalism when it launched in 1974, and is now celebrating its 40th birthday in 2014. Each week PEOPLE brings more than 53 million consumers the latest news, exclusive interviews, and in-depth reporting on the most compelling people of our time. In addition to unparalleled access to the entertainment community, the stories of real-life "Heroes Among Us" remain an essential component of PEOPLE's editorial approach. PEOPLE.com is the premier web destination for celebrity news, photos, style, and entertainment coverage. With reporters across the globe, PEOPLE is headquartered in New York City and is published by Time Inc. For more information visit www.PEOPLE.com.