American Dream Literacy Initiative celebrates 10 years at 2018 ALA Annual Conference

For Immediate Release
Fri, 06/15/2018


Sarah Ostman

Communications Manager

ALA Public Programs Office


An American Library Association (ALA) adult literacy initiative funded by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation will celebrate its 10th anniversary at the 2018 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans.

The conference program, “American Dream Literacy Initiative: 10 Years Serving Adult English Language Learners,” will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 23, in Morial Convention Center room 343. All conference registrants are welcome.

“The Dollar General Literacy Foundation’s support of literacy and lifelong learning has made a profound impact in the lives of thousands of Americans and in the library world,” said ALA President Jim Neal. “ALA is extremely grateful for the foundation’s support of the American Dream Literacy Initiative and so many other worthy programs.”

Celebrating its own 25th anniversary in 2018, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation awards funds 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. Through partnerships with national literacy organizations like ALA, the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy and XPRIZE Foundation, the 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.

Since 2008, ALA’s American Dream Literacy Initiative has offered grants to U.S. public libraries to expand services for adult English language learners or adults in need of basic education and workforce development. More than $1.5 million in funding has been distributed to 188 libraries since the program’s inception, enabling more than 8,000 English language learners to complete or graduate from courses.

With these grants, libraries have developed new courses, expanded their print and digital collections, increased access to technology, implemented new strategies for inclusion, and developed sustainable partnerships with organizations across their communities.

The American Dream Literacy Initiative is administered by ALA’s Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services (ODLOS) and Public Programs Office. Other ALA divisions and units benefitting from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation’s generosity include the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), and the American Association of School Libraries (AASL).

Denine Torr, senior director of community initiatives at the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, was recently selected as the recipient of the 2018 Crystal Apple by AASL President Steven Yates. The Crystal Apple honor is given at the discretion of the AASL President to an individual or group that has had a significant impact on school libraries and students. The award will be presented at the 2018 ALA Annual Conference.

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with approximately 57,000 members in academic, public, school, government and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.

About the Dollar General Literacy Foundation

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation is proud to support initiatives that help others improve their lives through literacy and education as part of the company’s mission of Serving Others for over 25 years. Since its inception in 1993, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded more than $154 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, schools and libraries, helping more than 10 million individuals take their first steps toward literacy or continued education. For more information about the Dollar General Literacy Foundation and its grant programs, visit