The Dollar General Literacy Foundation recently awarded the East Central Area Literacy Council a $10,000 grant to support adult literacy. This local grant award is part of over $7.1 million in grants awarded to more than 900 schools, nonprofits and organizations across the 43 states that Dollar General serves.
The East Central Area Literacy Council will use the grant funds to recruit and train volunteers to work with adults in the East Central College Adult Education and Literacy program. The AEL program coordinated by ECC serves students who are learning English, need to complete their high school education, or prepare for college or career changes. The Literacy Council also provides tutors for individuals who do not know how to read. Tutoring sessions are available at local libraries as well as AEL classrooms.
“Consistent with our mission of serving others, we are excited to provide organizations with funding to further literacy and education across the communities we call home,” said Todd Vasos, Dollar General’s CEO. “It is always so exciting to see the true and meaningful impact the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has on both children and adults looking to improve their lives through literacy. The Dollar General Literacy Foundation is proud to support 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 $120 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping more than 7.3 million individuals take their first steps toward literacy or continued education.
“Volunteer recruitment and tutor training are key to providing support to students seeking to improve their basic skills,” noted Alice Whalen, executive director of the Literacy Council and director of the AEL program at East Central College. “Students who have already faced many challenges can receive the encouragement they need to complete their education with the support of the volunteers.”
Two training sessions will be held in Rolla this summer for individuals interested in becoming volunteer tutors. The first will be held Thursday, July 28, from 5 to 8 p.m. and another session is scheduled for Wednesday, August 3 from 9 a.m. to noon. Call 573-719-1323 for session locations and to register as a volunteer.
The East Central Area Literacy Council began in November 2010 as a volunteer board of directors and assists the ECC Adult Education and Literacy program by recruiting and training volunteer tutors, raising awareness of the issues of illiteracy in the counties served, and receiving donations to purchase training materials, instructional materials, or other needs of the program. In addition to Whalen, other members of the Literacy Council include Steven Campbell, Diane Crowder, Gregory Gelles, Jackie Gilliam, Janece Martin, Joan Morris, Kathryn Whyte, and Dan Woodward.
East Central College Adult Education and Literacy has provided free adult education classes for over 28 years at sites throughout the college district. In 2014 ECC took over administration of adult education classes that had been offered by the South Central Missouri Literacy Council. This shift allows for greater opportunities and a larger impact on the students in adult education and literacy programs in the east central area of Missouri. The literacy partnership incorporates the working relationship with ECC’s Adult Education and Literacy program as well as Y-Literacy of St. Louis which operates in Franklin and Gasconade counties.
Certified teachers work at each class site, and all instructional materials are provided at no charge to the students. Day AEL classes are being held this summer in Rolla, Sullivan, Union, and Washington. Night classes are currently held in eight communities: Cuba, Hermann, Owensville, Pacific, Rolla, St. Clair, St. James, Union, and Washington. English Language classes are held in Rolla and Washington.
For information on AEL classes, individuals can call 636-584-6533 or 573-719-1323. Staff can also be reached by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.