by Kyle Kidd, Jackson State University
The Dollar General Literacy Foundation recently awarded Jackson State University’s School of Lifelong Learning a $10,000 grant to support adult literacy at their Continuing Education Learning Center (CELC). This local grant is part of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation’s recent $10.5 million donation to support summer, family, and adult literacy programs. It represents the organization’s largest one-day grant donation in its 29-year history.
Director of the School of Lifelong Learning, Dr. Carlos Wilson states, “Once again, we are humbled and appreciative of the assistance provided by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. They continue to support organizations such as our Continuing Education Learning Center and our activities to improve literacy in the Jackson Metro Area. These efforts help improve Mississippi’s workforce, which may better the quality of life and the socioeconomic path of our communities.”
Cleo Porter, coordinator of the Continuing Education Learning Center, added, “Responding to the needs of the growing number of adult learners who need to get a job, learn to survive on the job, and thrive in the workplace – but who may be far from obtaining a GED – is critical to the Jackson economy. Our well-being is closely tied to future generations of children who will surely be left behind unless their parents, family, community, and work-related literacy needs are addressed by adult education. Thanks to the generosity of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, the Continuing Education Learning Center will be able to continue to provide quality educational opportunities to many more students in the surrounding areas of Hinds, Madison, and Rankin counties.”
The adult education classes will provide adults the opportunity to earn a high school credential. It will also measure career and college readiness skills, which are the focus of today’s curriculum, and needed for success in both workforce and college programs. The learners recruited for the program will be undereducated/unemployed/underemployed residents in the service delivery area in Hinds, Madison, and Rankin counties who seek to enhance their abilities through obtaining their HSED and improving their grade level in reading by 1.5 levels higher within 150 hours of instruction.
“For nearly 30 years, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has been proud to invest in literacy and education programs in our hometown communities,” said Denine Torr, executive director of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. “The recent and significant shifts in the educational landscape have made the Foundation’s mission more critically important. As we work to create access to high-quality instruction for all individuals, we share our gratitude for the educators who are working to uplift and empower others. We hope these funds will have a meaningful impact on students and teachers across the country and look forward to seeing the positive impact they have on learners.”
The Dollar General Literacy Foundation supports organizations that increase access to educational programming, stimulate and enable innovation in the delivery of educational instruction and inspire a love of reading. Each year, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation awards funds to nonprofit organizations, schools, and libraries within a 15-mile radius of a Dollar General store or distribution center to support adult, family, summer, and youth literacy programs. The Foundation also offers a student referral program for individuals interested in learning how to read, speak English, or prepare for the high school equivalency exam. Referrals to a local organization that provides free literacy services are available online here or through referral cards found in the Learn to Read brochures that are available at the cash register of every Dollar General store.