La Escuelita, a leading program in the state that provides academic support for Latino youth in the Twin Cities, and Carlson Hotels Worldwide are working together to provide activity and book bags to the children at the facility. The tote bags are from Carlson Hotels' Radisson Hotels & Resorts and Country Inns & Suites hotel brands and contain a fun activity map, colored pencil and goggles. The two organizations will also participate in some Thanksgiving and Latino holiday activities.

"We wanted to provide a multi-purpose tote bag with some fun items that can help encourage children in the Latino community to stay active in school and in extra-curricular activities," said Baron Carr, vice president of Brand Marketing for Carlson Hotels Worldwide, who donated the bags on behalf of Radisson Hotels & Resorts and Country Inns & Suites By Carlson.

Maria Seiler, vice president of diversity for Carlson Hotels Worldwide, is a board member for La Escuelita.

Blanca Raniolo, program director at La Escuelita, helped organize the donation and event today at the after school program she manages. David Albornoz is the Executive Director of the program.

"The bag donation is a nice fit for our program which aims to keep kids active and focused on their school work," said Raniolo.

The bag donation at La Escuelita is part of a larger effort by Carlson Hotels Worldwide to reach out to local youth groups including La Escuelita, the YMCA, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Red Cross relief efforts for hurricane victims in Houston and San Antonio, Texas and flood victims in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The company has donated more than 15,000 bags valued at more than $302,000.