Lee University’s CELL Receives Dollar General Literacy Foundation Grant

Monday, June 7, 2021
From left, Dr. Donna Summerlin, chair of Lee’s Department of Language and Literature, Veronica Hodge and Dr. Christopher Blake
From left, Dr. Donna Summerlin, chair of Lee’s Department of Language and Literature, Veronica Hodge and Dr. Christopher Blake

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded Lee University’s Center for English Language & Literacy a $6,900 grant to support family literacy.

“I am so grateful for Dollar General’s generous support of the CELL literacy program,” said Dr. Christopher Blake, director of Lee’s CELL. “As a result of this grant, we are seeing the transformation of lives and families as both adults and children learn to read. Veronica Hodge has done outstanding work developing and overseeing this initiative, and we are very excited about the year ahead as we continue to expand our efforts to address this important need in the community.”

CELL has served the immigrant population in the Greater Cleveland Community since 2011. The money provided through the Dollar General Literacy Foundation will fund purchase of new textbooks, materials, and other resources to further the development of the program. Additionally, these funds will provide future educators with training in literacy instruction, as well as valuable experience working with the growing population of English language learners in public schools.

This local grant is part of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation’s recent award of a $10.5 million donation, representing the organization’s largest one-day grant donation in its 28-year history.

“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 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 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.

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded more than $197 million in grants, helping more than 14 million individuals take their first steps toward literacy, a general education diploma, or English proficiency. Cal Turner, Jr. founded the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to honor his grandfather and Dollar General’s co-founder, J.L. Turner, who was functionally illiterate having dropped out of school in the third grade to support his family.

To learn more about the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, visit www.dgliteracy.org.

For more information on CELL, visit leecell.org.



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