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RHS media center receives Dollar General Literacy Foundation grant

It costs a pretty penny to offer the Accelerated Reader program for Russellville High School students, but Debbie Nale in the media center is getting a little assistance with a recent $2,500 grant from Dollar General.

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation announced Russellville High School received the youth literacy grant last week. This grant is part of $4.5 million in youth literacy grants awarded to approximately 1,000 organizations across the 43 states that Dollar General serves.

Given at the beginning of the academic school year, these grants are aimed at supporting teachers, schools and organizations with resources to strengthen and enhance literacy instruction – like the Accelerated Reader program, for which Nales pays one fee for the program and an additional per-student fee. AR software assesses a student’s reading level and offers quizzes on many library titles that students can take to prove reading completion and comprehension, improving literacy – and earning the student some cool cash prizes.

“By awarding these grants, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation is committed to making a meaningful impact in our local communities,” said Todd Vasos, Dollar General’s chief executive officer. “These grants provide funds to support youth literacy initiatives and educational programs throughout the communities we serve to ensure a successful academic year for students.”

Nale said this is the fourth year she has been awarded one of the Dollar General grants for literacy, with the previous three award totals coming in at $2,000, $1,750 and $2,000. These grants are some of many she has endeavored to obtain for the library since she began working there seven years ago, in an attempt to make up for lack of state funding. All told, Nale has obtained nearly $28K in grant funds for the library/media center, from resources including Sen. Roger Bedford and Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow, local businesses, Target, the RCS Education Foundation and the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries, in addition to Dollar General.

“I’ve been real blessed,” Nale said. She encouraged people to donate to Dollar General the stores hold their campaigns, to support the school’s media center. “Without it, we and other libraries would be very limited on services we could provide.”

Committed to helping increase the literacy skills of individuals of all ages, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded more than $127 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping nearly 7.9 million individuals take their first steps toward literacy or continued education since its inception in 1993. The Dollar General Literacy Foundation awards grants each year to nonprofit organizations, schools and libraries within a 20-mile radius of a Dollar General store or distribution center to support adult, family, summer and youth literacy programs.

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation also supports customers interested in learning how to read, speak English or prepare for the high school equivalency test.  At the cash register of every Dollar General store, customers may pick up a brochure with a postage-paid reply card that can be mailed in for a referral to a local organization that offers free literacy services.