The Dollar General Literacy Foundation renews support for 'The American Dream Starts @ your library'

For Immediate Release
Thu, 08/09/2012


John Amundsen

Communications Specialist

Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS)

1-800-545-2433 ext. 2140

Grants will increase literacy resources for adult English language learners

CHICAGO – The American Library Association (ALA), with generous support from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, is offering a third round of “The American Dream Starts @ your library®” literacy grants to add or improve literacy services at public libraries nationwide.

Since 2007, American Dream grants have helped 100 libraries throughout Dollar General’s market area develop strong English as a Second Language collections, increase computer access, build community partnerships and raise the visibility of library services to immigrant communities.  Additionally, American Dream libraries developed an accessible knowledge base of easily replicable programs, coalition-building strategies and print and digital resources for libraries to use in their communities.

This new funding builds on and expands the efforts of the previous two rounds. In this round, 50 libraries will be selected to receive $5,000 to $15,000 American Dream grants.  Public libraries or public library bookmobiles focused on literacy services for adult English language learners and their families are eligible. In addition, libraries must be within 20 miles of a Dollar General store, distribution center or corporate office. Applications will be accepted through Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012.  

“There are very few gifts that last a lifetime. Literacy is one of them. It empowers individuals to increase their education and employability,” said Denine Torr, Dollar General’s director of community initiatives. “We are pleased to partner with the American Library Association to expand services to English language learners and to help enhance individuals’ potential to unleash their American Dream.”

“This new grant round for the "American Dream Starts @ your library" program will enable 50 more public libraries to chart a new course for a more literate America. This new course will lead to transformational and innovative programs through the expansion of literacy services to adult English-language learners and their families.” said Maureen Sullivan, ALA 2012-2013 president.  “The American Library Association is deeply grateful to the Dollar General Literacy Foundation for its generous support. Libraries will continue to help build the dream for many Americans and empower them to be full participants in their local communities.”

To learn more about the "American Dream Starts @ your library®" literacy grants and to access the grant application, please visit

About the ALA 
The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with approximately 60,000 members. Its mission is to promote the highest quality library and information services and public access to information.

About Dollar General 
Dollar General is a leading discount retailer with more than 10,000 neighborhood stores. Dollar General stores provide convenience and value to customers by offering consumable basic items such as food, snacks, health and beauty aids and cleaning supplies, as well as basic apparel, house wares and seasonal items at everyday low prices. The company has a longstanding tradition of supporting literacy and education. Since its inception in 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