Dollar General renews support of school libraries impacted by natural disaster

For Immediate Release
Mon, 06/11/2012

Contact:

Jennifer R Habley Manager
Web Communications
American Association of School Librarians (AASL)
800-545-2433 ext.4383
jhabley@ala.org

CHICAGO — The Dollar General Literacy Foundation has renewed its commitment to the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) and school libraries across the country by dedicating an additional $435,000 in grants to Beyond Words: The Dollar General School Library Relief Fund.  This donation brings the Dollar General Literacy Foundation’s support of rebuilding school libraries impacted by natural disaster to a total of $1.6 million.  In addition, the new round of grants offers two annual catastrophic awards and an increase in grant amounts.  Previous grants ranged from $5,000 to $15,000. Grants now range from $10,000 to $20,000.

“School libraries are not only places that encourage the imagination, but also places that help strengthen the literacy and technology skills of readers. They play a vital role in the overall academic enrichment of students,” said Denine Torr, director of Community Initiatives for Dollar General. “When disaster strikes, it is important to ensure that the library’s recovery process is expedited so students can access their library’s wealth of resources. We are very proud to continue to offer support to school libraries impacted by disasters and be there when libraries need us most.”

In 2006, Dollar General, in collaboration with the American Library Association (ALA), the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) and the National Education Association (NEA), began sponsoring a school library disaster relief fund for public school libraries in the states served by Dollar General. Beyond Words provides funding to public schools affected by disasters to rebuild and expand library programs. The grants can be used to defray the cost of replacing or supplementing books, media and/or equipment in the school library.

“Through the Beyond Words relief program, schools have the opportunity to secure funding when they need it most,” said Carl Harvey, AASL president. “These grants not only put resources back in schools but help the entire community heal from an unimaginable catastrophe.  The Dollar General Literacy Foundation’s commitment to school libraries in such need is truly appreciated.”

As of today, more than $1 million dollars in grants have been awarded to more than 130 schools across the country.  In addition, the program also features a comprehensive website devoted to disaster preparedness with resources and a toolkit to help school librarians prepare for and deal with natural disasters and terrorist acts. The toolkit and eligibility requirements can be found on the AASL website at www.ala.org/aasl/disasterrelief.

The American Association of School Librarians, www.aasl.org, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), promotes the improvement and extension of library services in elementary and secondary schools as a means of strengthening the total education program. Its mission is to advocate excellence, facilitate change and develop leaders in the school library field.

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation awards grants annually to schools, nonprofit organizations and libraries to support education and literacy in the communities where its customers, employees and their families live and work.  Available grants and a complete list of grant recipients are available at www.dgliteracy.org.  Dollar General is a leading discount retailer with 10,000 stores in 40 states. The company has a longstanding tradition of supporting literacy and education. Since 1993, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded more than $71.2 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping more than 4.1 million individuals take their first steps toward literacy, a general education diploma or English proficiency. To learn more about Dollar General, visit www.dollargeneral.com.

The National Education Association is the nation's largest professional organization, representing 2.8 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.  For more information, please visit www.nea.org.