By Rachel Shirey
JONESBORO — Callaway Elementary School was awarded a $2,000 Youth Literacy Grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation in support of reading education.
Media Specialist Terry Pelick, who received the grant, is using the funds to purchase books to help offer students more access to books with complex and informational text.
“I will be using the grant to purchase newly published non-fiction books for the Media Center,” she said. “This will give our students current non-fiction books to read.”
According to a press release, the foundation’s youth literacy grants were awarded to assist with implementing new or expanding existing youth literacy programs, to purchase new technology or equipment to support youth literacy initiatives or to purchase books, materials and software for youth literary programs.
Pelick said she is excited about the grant because her county budget didn’t cover the Media Center’s needs. She was looking for a way to supplement her county book budget so she could update and enlarge their non-fiction section.
“Our students are very excited about this program and enjoy reading,” Pelick said. “We encourage that the students in grades 2 through 5 check out at least one non-fiction book every time they check out. The non-fiction books for children this age are filled with beautifully colored pictures and informational text on their level, presented in a very interesting manner.”
However, this is not the school’s first literacy grant from Dollar General. In 2010, Pelick received a $4,000 grant, and she also won a $3,500 grant in 2011 before her newest grant.
“Every year I used the money to purchase books for Callaway Elementary School’s non-fiction collection,” Pelick said. “I am so grateful to Dollar General for supporting literacy by offering these grants.”
Pelick said she applied for the grant in May 2012 and the title of her grant is “Keeping up with the Common Core Standards.”
“Common Core emphasizes that students have access to more complex and informational text,” Pelick said. “A primary focus of the Common Core is literacy in all of its forms. Using this money to purchase non-fiction books will give our teachers and students access to more resources in the Media Center.”
Rick Dreiling, Dollar General’s Chairman and CEO, said, “The Dollar General Literacy Foundation is pleased to support the literacy efforts of Callaway Elementary School. The youth literacy grants are awarded annually at the start of the school year so that the funds are in place to have an impact on reading education and support.”
In August, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation awarded grants totaling more than $2 million to 564 non-profit organizations, community groups, schools and libraries throughout the United States. It was estimated that approximately 315,000 youth would be served as a result of these grants.
Since its founding, Dollar General has been committed to supporting literacy and education. To further this support, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation was established in 1993 to improve the functional literacy of adults and families by providing grants to nonprofit organizations dedicated to the advancement of literacy.
Dollar General, a leading discount retailer with 10,000 stores in 40 states, has a longstanding tradition of supporting literacy and education.