The joint venture between Hart and TCP includes launching a number of learning centers across the country. At the celebratory ceremony held on July 26, Hart cut the ribbon at the retailer’s first open reading center to the public at NYC Parks’ Thomas Jefferson Recreation Center in Manhattan’s East Harlem.
Each forthcoming learning space will be built in deserving and underserved neighborhoods. Hart and TCP’s back-to-school campaign aims to create fun learning centers and safe spaces that will encourage creative exploration and discovery among children.
During the grand opening, Hart engaged with hundreds of children with a read-aloud of his very own book, Marcus Makes a Movie—the first in a highly illustrated middle-grade series published by Crown Books for Young Readers. The event also included immersive and experiential activations, including a branded school bus. The Children’s Place School Bus was stocked with backpacks filled with back-to-school products and accessories, and school supplies provided by BIC, including pencils, markers, and more.
“As a father, I understand how school, education, and reading material can influence rising generations,” Hart said in a press release obtained by VIBE. “Whether opening a new book, taking on a new challenge in the classroom, or making memories with fellow students, these are the times that most impact a child’s life. This is the reason why I wrote my Marcus book series, Marcus Makes a Movie and Marcus Makes it Big. When The Children’s Place told me what they were up to, I had to join them.”
The father of four added, “Over the last two years of the pandemic, I’ve seen first-hand the challenges that children are facing when it comes to learning, making my partnership with The Children’s Place even more important to me. I’m thrilled to be a part of this powerful campaign to provide an inspiring, much-needed space for kids, right in their own communities.”
Maegan Markee, Senior Vice President of Marketing of The Children’s Place, Inc., spoke on partnering with Hart. “Kevin Hart was the perfect partner to help launch this year’s back-to-school campaign,” she said. “He too advocates for children’s continued education, both in and out of the classroom, and as a father, sees firsthand the impact that access to books, and both play and practice materials can have on a child’s life. We couldn’t be more excited to work with Kevin to give back to our future leaders of tomorrow.”
TCP plans to continue its efforts in launching an additional nine learning center locations through the Fall. The apparel company will collaborate with local libraries, community centers, and ThriftBooks, the leading independent online seller of new and used books. Each Children’s Place reading center will hold over 20,000 books donated by ThriftBooks to stock the spaces. Each space will feature comfortable seating arrangements, interactive chalkboard walls, and empowering wall murals and artwork.
Check out a recap of Kevin Hart and The Children’s Place’s learning center grand opening below.