United Way of El Paso County receives Dollar General Literacy Foundation $8k Grant

On Monday, officials with United Way of El Paso County announced that they had received a $8,000 grant to support family literacy from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.

“We’re so grateful to receive such generous support from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to support family literacy efforts in El Paso,” Deborah Zuloaga, CEO of UWEPC, said. “This grant will help us transform the lives of families and children through literacy efforts of our Grade-Level Reading Initiative.”

According to officials, the Grade-Level Reading Initiative is dedicated to ensuring children throughout El Paso read at their grade-level, which is accomplished through a multipronged approach, including book distributions, online tutoring, and more.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization’s programming transitioned into a virtual format by collaborating with the United Way Parents as Teachers program, included story time and family interaction activity videos shared via social media. This grant money will go directly to purchasing age-appropriate, high-quality books to distribute and build the at-home libraries of children in our community.

“For nearly 30 years, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has been proud to invest in literacy and education programs in our hometown communities,” said Denine Torr, executive director of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.

“The recent and significant shifts in the educational landscape have made the Foundation’s mission more critically important. As we work to create access to high-quality instruction for all individuals, we share our gratitude for the educators who are working to uplift and empower others. We hope these funds will have a meaningful impact on students and teachers across the country and look forward to seeing the positive impact they have on learners.”

The local grant is part of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation’s recent award of $10.5 million donation to support summer, family, and adult literacy programs, representing the organization’s largest one-day grant donation in its 28-year history.

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, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation 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 or through referral cards found in the Learn to Read brochures that are available at the cash register of every Dollar General store.