The Dollar General Literacy Foundation recently awarded Operation Exodus Inner City a grant to support their youth literacy program. This local grant is part of $4.5 million in youth literacy grants awarded to approximately 1,000 organizations across the 43 states that Dollar General serves. Given at the beginning of the academic school year, these grants are aimed at supporting teachers, schools, and organizations with more resources to strengthen and enhance literacy instruction.
Since Operation Exodus serves low-income families in Washington Heights, New York, which is in Northern Manhattan, with afterschool literacy and education programs, and mentoring services. The population is primarily Dominican-American or of Hispanic origin, and is made up of many families whose children grow up speaking Spanish prior to kindergarten and tend to be behind in English literacy.
This community also scores low on an index of well-being by the Citizen’s Committee for Children (CCC), with 41% of the youth estimated to be growing up in poverty. This also leads to lower literacy rates. Operation Exodus enrolls students in kindergarten from nearby public schools where anywhere from 10% to 34% of the students pass the state standardized tests for English Language Arts. The organization also run mentoring programs on Saturday and has a five-week Summer Achievement Camp that has a strong focus on literacy during the summer break.
Exodus works holistically by including parents in the development process, coaching them into promoting literacy at home. The organization’s goal is to get at least 85% of their students working at or above grade level in English Literacy and Math by the 5th grade. By launching the majority of their students into the best middle schools, they get an early jump start by being admitted into the best high schools, which in turn leads to better college opportunities.
Program Coordinator Vianeli Garcia is excited about this partnership with Dollar General. “This grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation will help us continue to raise the English literacy skills of our students, and give them an opportunity grow their love of reading.”
Garcia has instituted a special Exodus Café, a room where those who are putting the most effort into improving their reading skills can hang out, have special snacks, and choose a new book based on their interests.
“By awarding these grants, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation is committed to making a meaningful impact in our local communities,” said Todd Vasos, Dollar General’s chief executive officer. “These grants provide funds to support youth literacy initiatives and educational programs throughout the communities we serve to ensure a successful academic year for students.”
Committed to helping increase the literacy skills of individuals of all ages, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded more than $127 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping nearly 7.9 million individuals take their first steps toward literacy or continued education since its inception in 1993. The Dollar General Literacy Foundation awards grants each year to nonprofit organizations, schools and libraries within a 20-mile radius of a Dollar General store or distribution center to support adult, family, summer and youth literacy programs.
The Dollar General Literacy Foundation also supports customers interested in learning how to read, speak English or prepare for the high school equivalency test. At the cash register of every Dollar General store, customers may pick up a brochure with a postage-paid reply card that can be mailed in for a referral to a local organization that offers free literacy services.
About Operation Exodus
Operation Exodus is an tutoring, mentoring and arts and enrichment program that helps low-income students graduate high school, and enroll in college. The organization has a 97% graduation rate, much higher than the New York City average. For more information about the program, visit http://www.operationexodus.org.
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 20 years. Since its inception in 1993, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded more than $127 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping more than 7.9 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 www.dgliteracy.org.
About Dollar General Corporation
Dollar General Corporation has been delivering value to shoppers for over 75 years through its mission of Serving Others. 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, housewares and seasonal items at low everyday prices in convenient neighborhood locations. Dollar General operated 13,000 stores in 43 states as of August 13, 2016. 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 www.dollargeneral.com.