ING DIRECT USA Kids Foundation and Books for Kids Bring Childhood Literacy and Financial Education to San Francisco

Second Partnership Library in National Rollout to Open at the Kai Ming Head Start North Beach Center in Bay Area

Sep 09, 2011, 15:11 ET from ING DIRECT USA

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- ING DIRECT USA Kids Foundation and Books for Kids, a national early childhood literacy non-profit, are partnering to enable children in San Francisco who may not have access to books or a public library to discover the magical world of reading.

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On September 12, 2011, the Kai Ming Head Start North Beach Center will dedicate the new library which will provide the Center's children access to brand new books, reading programs and other educational tools that will foster early literacy and financial education skills. The new children's library at the North Beach Center is the second of five planned libraries that will open across the country as part of the ING DIRECT Kids Foundation and Books for Kids partnership.

"Through our partnership with Books for Kids and the opening of the North Beach Center library, we are able to bring the enchantment of reading and learning to the children of San Francisco," said Arkadi Kuhlmann, President and CEO of ING DIRECT USA. "The youth who come to experience the library will have opportunities to explore the world of books in a new and interactive way. We expect the library to grow into an important influence on the young community in the Bay Area."

The ING DIRECT Kids Foundation and Books for Kids has transformed space at the Kai Ming Head Start North Beach Center into a fairytale-like educational world complete with special child-focused features including:

  • A Planet Orange (SM) spaceship and learning corner based on ING DIRECT's space-themed website (;
  • More than 500 brand new, library ready, early childhood literacy experts recommended books;
  • Print rich walls and magical decor;
  • A puppet theatre stocked with puppets;
  • Leapfrog® and Hooked on Phonics® enriching educational tools;
  • Child-friendly beanbags and chairs;
  • A listening center with table, headphones, and audiobooks

"The San Francisco library, our second through the Books for Kids and ING DIRECT Kids Foundation partnership, will give the Center's youth unprecedented access to the world of literacy and financial education," said Shawna Hamilton Doster, Executive Director of Books for Kids. "We are honored to continue this partnership as we further our mission to develop the literacy skills of young children."

"Thanks to the ING DIRECT Kids Foundation and Books for Kids, a special part of the North Beach Center has been transformed to bring the magic of reading to our city's young people," said Jerry Yang, Director of the Kai Ming Head Start North Beach Center. "We know this will greatly help the children and families of our center to develop a love of learning and help them grow."

ING DIRECT Kids Foundation

The mission of the ING DIRECT Kids Foundation is to help children acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to make informed financial and life decisions. The Foundation strives to utilize its resources to positively impact children and adolescents through programs that focus on financial education, youth life skills programs and personal development opportunities.

Books for Kids Foundation

The Books for Kids Foundation is committed to promoting literacy among all children with a special emphasis on low-income and at-risk preschool-aged children. Books for Kids creates libraries, donates books, and partners with literacy programs to develop the critical early foundation and skills which young children need to be successful in life.

Kai Ming Head Start North Beach Center

The Kai Ming Head Start North Beach Center opened its doors in 2005 to provide free preschool service for 3 to 5 years old children from eligible families living in the Chinatown and North Beach communities of San Francisco. The Center receives funding from Head Start, California Department of Education and First 5 San Francisco to support the development of young children and their families. The mission of Kai Ming, Inc. is to offer highly valued, reliable, comprehensive quality early care and education services for children and families through collaboration with parents and the community.


ING DIRECT, the nation's largest direct bank and largest thrift, is dedicated to inspiring Americans to become a nation of savers. Since its inception in 2000, more than 7.7 million Americans have entrusted their savings with ING DIRECT, building the bank to nearly $91.4 billion in assets.  ING DIRECT has developed a comprehensive social media Savers Community, including Twitter, Facebook and its We, The Savers blog.  For more information about ING DIRECT call 1-800-ING-DIRECT, and for information about its commitment to financial education visit Planet Orange (SM).  

Style note to Editors: ING DIRECT is always capitalized and never referred to as ING.

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