CHICAGO — The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) offers its support to its East Coast colleagues as recovery from the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy begins and encourages schools to apply for a Beyond Words disaster relief grant. The AASL Beyond Words grant program, funded by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation can be used to replace or supplement books, media and/or library equipment within school libraries affected by natural disasters. Grants can also be used to offset costs by those schools that have opened their doors to significant numbers of new students displaced by disaster. In addition to funding, the program features a comprehensive website devoted to disaster relief with resources and a toolkit to help school librarians prepare for and deal with natural disasters and terrorist acts.
“As an association, AASL is clearly most concerned about the need to address the welfare of millions of people impacted by the unprecedented devastation left behind by Hurricane Sandy,” said Susan Ballard, AASL president. “The number one priority is that their immediate needs are addressed as soon as possible. As to long-term recovery related to the restoration of school library services in the communities impacted, we continue to be so grateful for the ongoing, generous support of the Dollar General family to provide grants to schools to mitigate the hardships that the loss of library resources has on the overall learning environment.”
In 2006, Dollar General, in collaboration with the American Library Association (ALA), 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. To date, more than more than $1.2 million dollars in grants have been awarded to more than 130 schools across the country. More information 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.