Lee University Receives Family Literacy Grant

Friday, August 7, 2020 - by Merritt Jenkins, Lee University
From left, Veronica Hodge, Dr. Chris Blake, and Dr. Donna Summerlin, chair of Lee’s Department of Language & Literature
From left, Veronica Hodge, Dr. Chris Blake, and Dr. Donna Summerlin, chair of Lee’s Department of Language & Literature

Lee University was awarded The Dollar General Literacy Foundation’s Family Literacy Grant, receiving $3,750 for 2020-21. This local grant is part of more than $8.6 million in grants awarded to more than 950 schools, nonprofits, and organizations across the communities Dollar General serves.

“During these extraordinary times, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation remains steadfast in its commitment to support communities’ literacy and educational advancements through funds that will impact thousands of students across the country,” said Todd Vasos, Dollar General’s CEO and Dollar General Literacy Foundation board member. “We are proud to support the meaningful and impactful work that Lee University conducts, and we support the ongoing efforts to help individuals improve their lives through literacy and education.”

The university will use the grant to fund its Center for English Language and Literacy, expanding the English as a Second Language program by providing instruction in reading and writing skills for parents and children of English language learning families in the community.

“We are thrilled to receive this generous grant from Dollar General,” said Dr. Chris Blake, ESL program director and professor of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).   “Learning how to read and write is a life changing experience that opens doors and paves the path to dreams.  The CELL literacy initiative made possible by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation truly is a dream come true for our program.”

Lee TESOL alumna Veronica Hodge is the director of the program and will oversee the development of the curriculum and courses.

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation is proud to support initiatives that help others improve their lives through literacy and education. Since 1993, the Foundation has awarded more than $182 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping more than 11 million individuals take their first steps toward literacy, a general education diploma, or English proficiency.

For more information about the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, visit dgliteracy.org.

For more information about CELL and the various free courses available to the public, visit leecell.org or contact Dr. Blake at cblake@leeuniversity.edu.


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