ALA, Dollar General Literacy Foundation announce 16 public libraries receiving adult literacy grants

For Immediate Release
Wed, 01/23/2019


Sarah Ostman

Communications Manager

ALA Public Programs Office


CHICAGO — The American Library Association (ALA) and Dollar General Literacy Foundation have announced 16 U.S. public libraries to receive 2019 American Dream Literacy Initiative grants, $10,000 awards to expand services for adult English language learners or adults in need of basic education and workforce development.

“Public libraries are an invaluable resource to Americans who need help improving their English language skills, getting their GEDs or developing the skills they need to be competitive in the workplace,” said ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo. “ALA has partnered with the Dollar General Literacy Foundation over the past decade to enable libraries across the country, from big cities to small towns, to offer more of these important services to their communities.”

View the 16 recipients of the 2019 American Dream Literacy Grants.

Among the projects that will be funded:

  • Kansas City Public Library (Kansas City, Missouri) will pilot an English for Vocation program, a 12-week English course focused on testing requirements for advancement in the construction field.
  • Fryeburg Public Library (Fryeburg, Maine) will use the funds to purchase eight laptops to increase computer access for adult education students who do not own a home computer.
  • Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library (Christiansburg, Virginia) will expand the reach of its family literacy program, Family READS (Reading and English to Achieve Dreams and Success).

The American Dream Literacy Initiative strives to develop tools and resources for libraries and library staff to provide effective literacy services to adult English language learners in their communities.

Since the program’s inception, more than 200 libraries in Dollar General communities have initiated or expanded literacy services for adult English language learners. The grants allow libraries to augment their print and digital English as a second language (ESL) collections; increase computer access and training; provide job training; hold English language learning (ELL), general educational development (GED) and citizenship classes; and raise the visibility of services for immigrant populations.

American Dream libraries build replicable programs, develop coalition-building strategies and provide annotated lists of vetted resources for libraries across the country. ALA shares the libraries’ successes and strategies through the website, on webinars, and at state, regional and national conferences.

The American Dream Literacy Initiative is made possible through the generous support of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.

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 Dollar General Literacy Foundation

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation is proud to support initiatives that help others improve their lives through literacy and education. Since 1993, the Foundation has awarded more than $160 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping more than 10 million individuals take their first steps toward literacy, a general education diploma or English proficiency. To learn more about the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, visit