ALA announces American Dream Starts @ your library® grant recipients

Contact: John L. Amundsen

Communications Specialist

ALA Office for Literacy and Outreach Services

(312) 280-2140


For Immediate Release

April 19, 2010

Dollar General Literacy Foundation provides funding for libraries to develop literacy programs for adult English language learners

CHICAGO – Seventy public libraries in 21 states have been selected by the American Library Association (ALA) to receive $5,000 grants as part of “The American Dream Starts @ your library®” literacy initiative. This initiative is funded by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.

The grant recipients include libraries in large cities and rural towns throughout Dollar General’s market area. The grant funds will be used by the libraries to build innovative literacy services for adult English language learners living and working in their communities. The libraries will expand their print and digital literacy collections, offer classes and conversation clubs, develop mobile tech labs and reach out to immigrant organizations. A complete list of the winning libraries is available at

“The Dollar General Literacy Foundation is proud to join with the ALA to provide grants to libraries that are committed to enhancing their literacy services for those learning to speak English,” said Rick Dreiling, Dollar General’s chairman and CEO. “These specialized programs and services will help so many achieve their own dreams of success in America.”

For more than a century, public libraries have been a cornerstone of the American Dream, providing equal access to information of all kinds. Libraries are among the first American institutions immigrants turn to for help in learning how to read, write and speak English. Libraries are uniquely positioned to help immigrants adapt to a new culture and connect with their new communities.

“ The American Dream Starts @ your library serves 70 communities, reaches thousands of adults, and helps libraries change lives across generations.” said Dr. Camila Alire, ALA 2009-2010 President. “ The American Library Association deeply appreciates Dollar General’s generous support and applauds their vision for a more literate America.”

The 2005 National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) found that 11 million US adults – about one in 20 – have such limited English skills that they can’t read a newspaper, understand the directions for medication, or help their children with schoolwork. Recent immigrants account for most of this group. To meet this need, ALA and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation joined together to start “The American Dream Starts @ your library®” literacy initiative.

About the ALA

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 63,000 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 8,800 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 $40 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping more than 2.1 million individuals take their first steps toward literacy, a general education diploma or English proficiency. To learn more about Dollar General, visit