Helms College/Goodwill Industries Charmain Z. Brackett/Augusta Good News
Helms College/Goodwill Industries Charmain Z. Brackett/Augusta Good News

Grant to support adult literacy

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA a $9,915 grant to bolster its adult literacy programs.

The grant is part of DGLF’s broader initiative, which has contributed over $10.6 million this year to support literacy programs nationwide, impacting more than 20 million individuals since its inception in 1993, according to a July 8 news release from Goodwill.

With this funding, Goodwill will enhance its General Educational Development (GED) and English as a Second Language (ESL) programs, reaching individuals across its 35-county service area. These initiatives aim to provide flexible and accessible education opportunities, particularly benefiting non-native English speakers, the news release said.

“We are incredibly grateful for the continued support from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation,” said Maria Mallar, Manager of Developmental Education at Goodwill. “This grant enables us to offer our GED program remotely, providing participants the flexibility to learn at their own pace. Additionally, it will help us establish a formal schedule for ESL classes at our Augusta Campus, making our programs even more inclusive.”

Goodwill’s GED program is uniquely designed to allow participants to learn at their own pace, with 24/7 access to educational software. This flexibility helps individuals tailor their learning to their personal schedules and goals. Furthermore, offering the program in both English and Spanish ensures it is accessible to a broader audience.

Mallar highlighted the significant demand for ESL support within the community, noting that approximately one-third of Goodwill’s GED participants are non-native English speakers.

“Last year, we partnered with Augusta University’s Department of English and World Languages to pilot a community ESL program, which received an overwhelmingly positive response. Thanks to the DGLF grant, we can now establish a regular schedule for these much-needed ESL classes,” Mallar said in the release.

“We believe individuals of all ages deserve access to a quality education, and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation is thrilled to support thousands of learners across the country as they enrich their lives with literacy and education,” said Denine Torr, executive director of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. “This year’s spring grant cycle is equally exciting as we surpass impacting more than 20 million individuals. We hope these funds provide resources needed to positively change students’ lives, helping them to build a brighter future for themselves and generations to come.”

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation supports organizations that increase access to educational programming, stimulate and enable innovation in the delivery of educational instruction and inspire a love of reading. Each year, it awards funds to nonprofit organizations, schools and libraries within a 15-mile radius of a Dollar General store or distribution center to support adult, family, summer and youth literacy programs.

The Foundation also offers a student referral program for individuals interested in learning how to read, speak English, or prepare for the high school equivalency exam. Referrals to a local organization that provides free literacy services are available online here or through referral cards found in the Learn to Read brochures that are available at the cash register of every Dollar General store.

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