ALA Announces 2014 American Dream Starts @ your library recipients

For Immediate Release
Tue, 12/09/2014


John L. Amundsen

Program Officer, Outreach and Communications

ALA Office for Literacy and Outreach Services

(312) 280-2140

Funded by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, grants support literacy advancements at 22 libraries

CHICAGO — The American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Literacy and Outreach Services announces the selection of  22 libraries in 15 states to receive funding through the American Dream Starts @ your library grant initiative, generously supported by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. 

Each of the 22 libraries will receive a one-time grant up to $15,000 to add or expand literacy services for the adult English language learners in their communities. This funding will help libraries build their print and digital ESL (English as a second language) collections, increase computer access and provide GED and literacy instruction courses for English language learners.  

The selected fourth-round American Dream libraries join a cohort of 144 previously-funded programs in Dollar General communities. These American Dream libraries build easily replicable programs, develop coalition-building strategies and provide annotated lists of proven resources for libraries across the country, serving adult English language learners and enhancing public awareness of library services for new Americans.  

All American Dream libraries are located within 20 miles of a Dollar General store, distribution center or corporate office. 

“Dollar General is excited for its continued partnership with the American Library Association to provide libraries with the necessary monetary resources to enhance and advance literacy,” said Denine Torr, Dollar General’s director of community initiatives.  “Dollar General is passionate about its mission of Serving Others and the ability to help make a real impact in people’s lives as they learn English and improve their reading skills.”

“We commend and thank the Dollar General Literacy Foundation's recognition of the role libraries play in building their communities and its continued support of this initiative,” said Courtney Young, 2014-15 ALA president. “For many new Americans, the public library is a safe space in a new and complex country that provides free access to print and digital materials, Internet access, and the opportunity to learn and improve English skills. These vital services remove barriers, highlight opportunities, and ease immigrants’ transition to life in their new home.”

To see a complete list of the fourth round libraries, please visit

About the ALA 
The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with 58,000 members. Its mission is to promote the highest quality library and information services and public access to information.

About the Dollar General Literacy Foundation

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation was established in 1993 in honor of Dollar General’s co-founder, J.L. Turner, who was functionally illiterate with only a third grade education. He was a farmer’s son who dropped out of school when his father was killed in an accident. With determination and hard work, he began what has now become a successful company. We understand sometimes life circumstances prevent individuals from learning to read or graduating from high school, but it’s never too late to learn. Through funding initiatives, we are committed to helping individuals of all ages learn to read, prepare for their high school equivalency or learn English. Since its inception in 1993, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded more than $97 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping more than 5.8 million individuals take their first steps toward literacy or continued education. To learn more about the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, please visit

About Dollar General Corporation

Dollar General Corporation has been delivering value to shoppers for 75 years. Dollar General helps shoppers Save time. Save money. Every day!® by offering products that are frequently used and replenished, such as food, snacks, health and beauty aids, cleaning supplies, basic apparel, house wares and seasonal items at low everyday prices in convenient neighborhood locations. With more than 11,500 stores in 40 states, Dollar General has more retail locations than any retailer in America. In addition to high quality private brands, Dollar General sells products from America's most-trusted manufacturers such as Clorox, Energizer, Procter & Gamble, Hanes, Coca-Cola, Mars, Unilever, Nestle, Kimberly-Clark, Kellogg's, General Mills, and PepsiCo. For more information on Dollar General, please visit