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The Dollar General Literacy Foundation “Where There is Literacy, There is Opportunity”

Categories: Education & Teaching, General, Student Centric Learning, The Digital Age, Whole Child Literacy

More than ever, teachers, education leaders, students, and families need the support of businesses, organizations and corporate sponsors to address the literacy crisis in our nation. That's just what Dr. Molly Ness, V.P. of Academic Content at Learning Ally and founder of End Book Deserts, and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation have in common.  A picture containing text, book, library, shelf, with boy reading for Research Report State of American Literacy

The State of American Literacy - Everyone Has Potential

In this podcast, Dr. Molly Ness talks with Denine Torr, Vice President of Dollar General’s Corporate Social Responsibility & Philanthropy Programs and Executive Director of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. They discuss the Foundation’s endeavors to develop new pathways to literacy for millions of Americans who have the potential to succeed, but need more reading support to do so. They talked about books, and the upcoming film The Right to Read, and how the Foundation is shining a light on literacy through their “Yellow Glasses” program. They discussed access, innovation, instruction, and partnerships.

Dollar General is a Fortune 100 company founded by J.L. Turner during the Great Depression. In 1993, his son and grandson established the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to honor Mr. Turner, the son of a farmer with only a third-grade education, who built one of the largest neighborhood general store chains in America. With its wide range of grants, funding, and collaboration, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation helps individuals of all ages pursue their educational goals by investing in literacy programs that help students learn to read, prepare for high school equivalency, and learn English. The Foundation recently commissioned a research report, “State of American Literacy,” outlining a deeper understanding of the opportunities that exist in the field of literacy to narrow the gap between what adult and youth literacy learners need and the resources available.

Investment in Literacy

Investing in literacy to fulfill all children’s hopes and dreams is a wonderful way to support our schools, communities, and society. More than forty-three million adults in the U.S. (nearly one in five) read below a third grade level. Even with a general awareness of challenges created by the inability to read proficiently, a larger discussion must ensue to grasp the lasting impact that literacy and education has for our citizens regarding opportunity, income, health, and equality. 

Listen to this podcast now, and join the movement.  

About End Book Deserts Podcasts and the Coalition for Literacy Equity

The End Book Deserts podcast is a part of the Coalition for Literacy Equity, a nonprofit committed to promoting literacy, and book access as an issue of equity. The Coalition, created by literacy advocates, unifies a nationwide network of interdisciplinary programs that provides books to children and caregivers. Find out more about programming and membership at

To find literacy programs in your neighborhood, visit the National Literacy Directory.

About Denine Torr

Denine Torr leads strategic development and execution of national, regional, and local philanthropic-related programs and initiatives for Dollar General’s 18,000+ store communities, distribution centers and corporate headquarters. She also serves as chairperson of the board for Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation and is on the board of directors for the American Indian College Fund and the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.

About Learning Ally 

Learning Ally, a leading education nonprofit, equips educators with proven solutions that help emerging and struggling learners reach their full potential. The organization offers a range of literacy-focused products and services for students in Pre-K to 12th grade and a catalog of professional learning programs for educators. The nonprofit serves more than 2 million students and 450,000 educators through its solutions and community across the United States. 


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