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Wrigley Company Foundation Partners with Pratham and Pratham USA to Provide Education Support to India’s Mint Farming Communities

$1 million USD dedicated to help improve the education of children in India's Uttar Pradesh

CHICAGO (June 3, 2013) — The Wrigley Company Foundation today announced the launch of a three-year, $1 million USD educational partnership with Pratham, the largest non-governmental education organization in India, working to provide quality education to the underprivileged children in India. This initiative, targeted at addressing learning gaps and providing support to help close these gaps in the top mint farming districts in the Indian State of Uttar Pradesh, is aimed at reaching 40,000 children in 1,000 villages.

Uttar Pradesh is one of the key mint producing geographical areas of the world.

"We are pleased to be able to give back to these communities that play an important agricultural role for so many products we enjoy every day," said Martin Radvan, President of the Wrigley Company Foundation and of Wrigley. "Delivering a mutuality of benefits is consistent with the Mars guiding principles, and we are proud that this program strongly amplifies this commitment and provides additional support to these children."

"Education is one of the best ways to touch people's lives," said Michael Yeung, Wrigley Company Foundation board member and President, Wrigley Asia-Pacific, "and we are happy to create avenues for children in India to learn and grow through this Wrigley Company Foundation/Pratham partnership."

"Pratham is delighted to partner with the Wrigley Company Foundation to address the needs of children of the mint producing farmers in India. Uttar Pradesh has low learning levels as shown by ASER 2012, and we hope to address these problems in the region," said Dr. Madhav Chavan, co-founder and CEO of Pratham.

ASER (meaning impact in Hindi) is the largest household survey undertaken in India by people outside the government. It annually measures the enrollment as well as the reading and arithmetic levels of children in the age group of 6-14 years.

Pratham provides educational enhancement for children aged 5-14 through a combination of week-long concentrated Learning Camps and volunteer tutoring classes between camps. Through their commitment to long-term reading and arithmetic capabilities, they also provide colorful and age-appropriate reading material for the children to use as resources between these camps.

The goal of this partnership program is to help increase annual sustained learning, as well as engage parents to take an active part in their child's education. The program will be piloted in 300 villages in the first year and will scale up over the next two years, ultimately reaching the 1,000 village target.

As part of this partnership program, Pratham Books will also publish a series of "mint story cards," which will tell the journey of mint from planting to end-product use, helping children to read while also providing a real and relevant story for them to follow.

This donation is made possible through Pratham USA, which accepts tax deductible contributions from U.S. donors to support the mission of Pratham in India to ensure that "Every child is in school and learning well."

About the Wrigley Company Foundation

The mission of the Wrigley Company Foundation is to help improve the health of people and our planet through sustainable initiatives focused in oral health and environmental stewardship as well as local needs that ensure a healthy community. Since its founding in 1987, the Wrigley Company Foundation has donated more than $54 million USD to charitable organizations improving lives around the world.

For more information, visit and

About Pratham

Pratham (, which means "first" in Sanskrit, was founded with UNICEF support in underserved communities of Mumbai in 1994. Today, Pratham is one of the largest non-profit organizations in the field of education, working in sixteen Indian states, in over 150 rural districts and 30 cities. In 2005, Pratham pioneered a nation-wide assessment of learning (Annual Status of Education Report) that has influenced national educational policies and budget allocations. Pratham's flagship Read India program aims to correct the problem of learning outcomes, annually reaching over two million children in over 20,000 villages across India. Over the years Pratham has expanded beyond an initial focus on preschool and primary school children to include school drop-outs as well as youth who need vocational skills to enter the job market.

Pratham has been recognized internationally for its innovation and large-scale impact. Awards include the Kravis Prize for Leadership, the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, and most recently the WISE Prize for Education that was awarded to Pratham co-founder and CEO, Dr. Madhav Chavan.

About Pratham USA

Pratham USA ( is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, which has been awarded a four-star rating, the highest possible, from Charity Navigator for the past 6 consecutive years. Pratham USA currently has chapters in fifteen cities throughout the United States. The organization accepts tax deductible contributions from U.S. donors to support the mission of Pratham in India to ensure that "Every child is in school and learning well."

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For more information, contact:

Maureen Jones,
Wrigley Company Foundation

Mani Surkari at Pratham USA

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