For immediate release | January 26, 2018

ALA, Dollar General Literacy Foundation announce recipients of $10,000 adult literacy grants

CHICAGO — The American Library Association (ALA) and Dollar General Literacy Foundation announce 20 U.S. public libraries to receive American Dream Literacy Initiative grants, $10,000 awards to expand services for adult English language learners or adults in need of basic education and workforce development.

“Vast numbers of Americans rely on their public libraries for assistance with English literacy skills, high-school equivalency testing, and basic technology and job skills,” said ALA President Jim Neal. “ALA is proud to enable more of this critically important work in communities across the United States, and we are grateful to the Dollar General Literacy Foundation for their ongoing support.”

View all 20 recipients of the 2018 American Dream Literacy Grants.

Among the projects that will be funded:

  • Athens Regional Library System (Athens, Georgia) will develop a series of classes that combine culinary arts with English language instruction.
  • The Buffalo & Erie County Public Library (Buffalo, New York) will bring literacy and employment skills training to underserved communities via a portable classroom through the Community Assistant Cyber Caravan.
  • Sacramento Public Library Authority (Sacramento, California) will expand and enhance the library’s services for immigrants, which currently operate with a lengthy wait list.

The American Dream Literacy Initiative strives to develop tools and resources for libraries and library staff to provide effective literacy services to adult English language learners in their communities and across the country.

Since the program’s inception, 205 libraries in Dollar General communities have initiated or expanded literacy services for adult English language learners. The grants allow libraries to augment their print and digital English as a second language (ESL) collections; increase computer access and training; provide job training; hold English language learning (ELL), general educational development (GED) and citizenship classes; and raise the visibility of services for immigrant populations.

American Dream libraries build replicable programs, develop coalition-building strategies, and provide annotated lists of vetted resources for libraries across the country. ALA shares the libraries’ successes and strategies through the website, on webinars, and at state, regional and national conferences.

The American Dream Literacy Initiative is made possible through the generous support of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with approximately 57,000 members in academic, public, school, government and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.

About the Dollar General Literacy Foundation

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation is proud to support initiatives that help others improve their lives through literacy and education as part of the company’s mission of Serving Others for over 25 years. Since its inception in 1993, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded more than $146 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, schools and libraries, helping more than 9 million individuals take their first steps toward literacy or continued education. For more information about the Dollar General Literacy Foundation and its grant programs, visit


Sarah Ostman

Communications Manager

ALA Public Programs Office