Local literacy organizations receive $30,000 in grants from Dollar General Literacy Foundation

Drew Butler
The Daily Ardmoreite
News Alert

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation recently awarded three members of Ardmore Literacy Leadership, a local literacy coalition, with a combined $30,000 in grants. These grants are one portion of the more than $8.6 million awarded by the DGLF to schools, nonprofits and other organizations across the country this year. Locally, New Dimensions Literacy Council, The Ardmore Public Library, and Ardmore Family Literacy each received $10,000 to go to their individual programs. 

Ari James, executive director of Ardmore Literacy Leadership, talked a bit about each of the organizations and what they would be doing with the funds they received.

“At New Dimensions Literacy Council, they primarily focus on adult basic education,” James said. “Adult basic education isn’t necessarily studying for the GED, it’s what comes before that. So it’s for adults who are at or below a third grade reading level, and their program gets people to the point where they can move on to getting a high school equivalency if that’s what their goal is.”

James said New Dimensions will be using their grant funds to expand into Love County. 

He said the library will be using their funds to launch offsite programs for English as a Second Language and Citizenship at two local companies. The library will also be expanding their mobile computer lab to 10 student laptops.

James said Ardmore Family Literacy will be using their funds to expand their current programs.

“They offer day and night classes to help people with GED preparation,” James said. “They also offer child care for those who need it along with additional other support programs to help people reach their goals, including earning a GED.”

James said these funds will be especially helpful this year because many of these organizations rely on local fundraising and local donors. Because of the coronavirus, donors may not have as much disposable income available to make donations, and holding fundraisers is currently more complicated because of social distancing recommendations.

However he stressed all of these programs strengthen the community and help people get better paying jobs.

“All of these programs have created jobs here in Southern Oklahoma,” James said. “Not just for the people who work there, but for all of those people who are now able to get their GED, their citizenship, speak better English, or have access to a computer. All of these things come back and strengthen our community and our workforce.”

He thanked Dollar General for all the the support they’ve provided to literacy in the area this year and in years past.

“We’ve got the Dollar General warehouse and several stores in our area,” James said. “I think this just shows how important Ardmore is to the company because they keep coming back year after year with their grant funding. The money this year is just one small part  of that. It really means a lot that our programs are seen as worthy of being funded continuously funded.”