By Joseph Pratt
When one considers the role of big business in our small community, the presence of Dollar General is often overlooked, but the retailer continues to be one of the largest supporters of local schools.
The support comes from the industry’s development foundation called the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. The organization has graced many local schools with funding, from thousands of dollars to Greenup High School’s library, to funds for others to purchase new technological devices.
This week, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation impacted yet another school, awarding Portsmouth Elementary with a grant in the amount of $4,000. This is not the first grant Portsmouth has received from Dollar General, but the school says they are just as thrilled to receive continued support.
The funding will go directly to support a program called Project MORE, which is designed to engage children in reading.
The school is proud of MORE, which stands for Mentoring Ohio for Reading Excellence. The administration has witnessed phenomenal growth with its involvement in the education process and they have expanded on it every year since its inception.
The school has reported that MORE has increased student reading comprehension by 83 percent above typical growth in third grade students. On top of that, third grade was only an addition to Project MORE last year.
Other benefits of the program includes increasing student desire to read, test scores rising in all area subjects, therapeutic bonds being forged between sponsor and student, and reading levels of students increasing marginally.
“The dollars will be put to great use to help offset the cost associated with materials and other items needed for the program,” Superintendent Scott Dutey said. “I want to commend both Debbie Akers and Angela Byers-Johnson for their diligence in pursuing dollars for our students and volunteers in Project MORE.”
The grant going towards Project MORE is part of over $4 million awarded to approximately 870 schools, nonprofits and organizations across the across the 43 states Dollar General serves. Since its inception in 1993, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded more than $100 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping more than six million individuals take their first steps toward literacy or continued education.
“At Dollar General, our mission is serving others, and we are committed to making a difference in people’s lives through the support of literacy initiatives and educational programs in the communities we call home,” Todd Vasos, Dollar General’s CEO, said “These grants fill a critical need in our communities by providing a timely funding boost at the beginning of the school year for the enhancement of literacy programs.”
These youth literacy grants are awarded at the beginning of the academic year in an effort to give teachers, schools and organizations a better start with the funding and resources they need for the upcoming school year.
Reach Joseph Pratt at 740-353-3101, ext. 1932, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.