Rebuilding Libraries

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation and American Association of School Librarians (AASL) recently presented four schools with funds from its joint Beyond Words program to support the schools rebuild its library in the wake of natural disaster.  Recipients include:  

Above: Dollar General presents funds to West Lumberton Elementary School in Lumberton, North Carolina. 
“In keeping with Dollar General’s mission of Serving Others and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation’s focus on reading and education, we are proud to support these schools’ efforts to rebuild their libraries,” said Denine Torr, Dollar General’s senior director of community initiatives.  “These donations will support the libraries’ restoration, provide funds for additional library resources and help further students’ lifelong love of reading.”
The Beyond Words grant program was established in 2006 to provide funding to school libraries affected by disasters. Funding helps schools rebuild, reestablish and/or expand library media programs.  Since its inception, the program has awarded over $1.8 million and directly affected more than 90,000 students in 25 states.

Above: Dollar General presents funds to Ellington Early Childhood center in Wagoner, Oklahoma. 
“Through the Beyond Words relief fund, school libraries have the opportunity to secure funding when they need it most,” said Audrey Church, AASL president.  “These grants not only put resources back in schools, but also help the entire community heal from an unthinkable catastrophe.  The Dollar General Literacy Foundation’s commitment to school libraries experiencing such need is truly appreciated.”

Dollar General’s commitment to literacy and education is rooted through the Dollar General Literacy Foundation and the company’s co-founder, J.L. Turner.  Turner had a third-grade education and was functionally illiterate after dropping out of school to support his family.  His grandson and former CEO, Cal Turner, Jr., founded the Dollar General Literacy Foundation in 1993.  Since its inception 24 years ago, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded more than $127 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping more than 7.9 million individuals take their first steps toward literacy or continued education.

Above: Dollar General presents funds to Pi Beta Phi in Gatilinburg, Tennessee. 
To be eligible for a Beyond Words grant, applicants must be located within 20 miles of a Dollar General store, distribution center or corporate office and must represent public schools serving students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12. Eligibility requirements include the library must have either lost its building or incurred substantial damage/hardship due to a natural disaster, fire or act recognized by the federal government as terrorism. Grant applicants must meet one of the two requirements.

Above: Dollar General presents funds to Springfield High School in Springfield, Louisiana. 
For more information on the Dollar General Literacy Foundation or to apply for a Beyond Words grant, visit