Travel with Your Mind is a philanthropic program designed to support deserving schools through a series of travel-themed projects and multicultural initiatives. The concept behind the Travel with Your Mind program is to help expose students to travel right at home. Through each project, American Express strives to bring various parts of the world to deserving schools and many students who otherwise lack the opportunity to travel.

The program was launched in Detroit, Memphis and Minneapolis last year. We decided to expand the program to include our hometown of New York City this year. To do so, we joined forces with New York Cares and the New York City community to build a program that inspires local children to think and act globally. Each project intends to bring students, parents, teachers and community members together to make positive changes by helping to revitalize a school.

Working with New York Cares, we selected P.S. 636K Elementary School in Brooklyn, New York, as the recipient of the year-long revitalization program in 2010-2011. There will be a total of three projects over the course of the school year, all to be completed by our employees as well as employees from one of our long-standing partners, Delta Air Lines, in addition to local community members.

The first project took place in October 2010 with volunteers refurbishing the elementary school’s library. The walls received fresh paint. New furniture was added, making the library a more inviting space. To incorporate the theme of travel, a special bookcase was created to house international and multilingual books. Volunteers also transformed the schoolyard by painting a vibrant U.S. and world map for students to explore before and after class. In addition, new lounge furniture was installed. The next phase of the year-long program is taking place on or around Martin Luther King Day. The focus for the project is on fostering diversity.

American Express has a long-standing history of supporting the communities in which its employees and card members live and work. Making a difference in the communities we serve is extremely important to us. We know that schools are at the heart of communities, and education is an issue that many people care deeply about. As such, we’re extremely gratified to bring the Travel with Your Mind program to a deserving school in New York City this year.

Anyone interested in volunteering for the second project at P.S. 636K Elementary School on January 17 should register at Parents are welcome to sign up with their children and make a difference together.

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