Denine Torr from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation recognized with AASL Crystal Apple Award

For Immediate Release
Fri, 06/29/2018


Jennifer Habley

Manager, Web Communications

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)


CHICAGO – Denine Torr, senior director of community initiatives at the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, has been selected as the recipient of the 2018 Crystal Apple by American Association of School Librarians (AASL) President Steven Yates. The Crystal Apple honor is given at the discretion of the AASL President to an individual or group that has had a significant impact on school libraries and students.

AASL’s Beyond Words Grant funded by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation began in New Orleans in 2006 after Hurricane Katrina. Since then, the grant program has provided more than $2 million dollars in funds to public school libraries nationwide that have suffered materials losses because of a major disaster ranging from hurricanes, tornadoes, flood, earthquakes, fires or an act recognized by the federal government as terrorism. In the past year alone, $315,000 was awarded to schools in need. Of this, $235,000 was dedicated to the greater Houston-area, demonstrating the almost immediate response of the foundation during times of crisis and how critical this grant program is to schools and communities. 

“At the heart of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation is Denine Torr and her team - raising funds, administering programs and changing the lives in the communities Dollar General serves,” explained Steven Yates, AASL president. “The ability of the grant program to bring normalcy back to students' lives after a natural disaster and to open a school library's doors as soon as possible has directly impacted more than 100,000 students. Denine is the ‘person behind the foundation’ whose dedication to the power of literacy and lifelong learning has made this possible.”

Dollar General Literacy Foundation’s commitment to the "lifelong learner" funds grants and literacy programming throughout the American Library Association. Along with AASL, other divisions and offices benefiting from the foundation’s generosity include ALSC, YALSA, and the Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services. 

"Denine recognizes the incredible impact that effective school libraries have on student achievement," Yates continued. "This year’s Crystal Apple is a small token to the leader of a movement that has provided literacy, comfort, and hope in times of rebuilding and AASL is fortunate to have such dedicated partners in service to school libraries."

The American Association of School Librarians,, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), empowers leaders to transform teaching and learning.