Literacy to get a boost from national foundation

Two literacy initiatives in the Knox County Public Schools will get an extra financial boost thanks to the support of a national foundation with local connections.

Dollar General Literacy Foundation, a community outreach service of the Dollar General Corporation with retail locations throughout Knox County, has awarded $2,000 grants to Flat Lick Elementary and Knox Central High to support youth literacy.

“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 communities across the U.S.,” said Todd Vasos, Dollar General’s CEO.

“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.”

Students and staff at Flat Lick Elementary were thrilled to learn of the grant award that will be used to support technology-based reading intervention at their school.

15_9_FlatlickDGThe grant will be used to target reading intervention beginning in 4th grade as students exit primary through 6th grade.  Students identified through MAP scores for intervention will utilize Chromebooks to access SRA Reading Laboratory, a software program created by McGraw Hill, the same publisher of the new Reading Wonders curriculum being used in the school district.

By providing research-based intervention through a personalized reading program, students will improve Lexile scores, enhance comprehension, vocabulary, fluency, word analysis, study skills, foster critical thinking, and be challenged with informational and literacy text from different genres based on their interest.

15_9_KnoxCentralDGStaff at Knox Central plan to use the funding from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to provide a new reading enrichment experience for students.  A reading cafe is being organized in the school media center, complete with new books and new technology that will attract more students to the center.

The grant award calls for popular books that are missing from the school’s collection to be ordered as well as new computers that will be used to access online resources and teach digital literacy.  With increased traffic in the media center, the enhanced services will increase literacy rates by offering a wider range of literature while also providing students with an area to read and study before and after school.

In their press statement, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation pledged their ongoing support to initiatives that help others improve their lives through literacy and education. Since its inception in 1993, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded more than $100 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping nearly six million individuals take their first steps toward literacy or continued education.