Dollar General gives $ 4.5 million to support struggling teachers and students during COVID-19


Denine Torr is Executive Director of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation and Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility at Dollar General.
  • The pandemic has been a difficult time for teachers, students and parents.
  • With this in mind, Dollar General is spending $ 4.5 million on literacy and education programs.
  • A $ 3 million partnership with nonprofit DonorsChoose will allow teachers to purchase supplies.
  • See more stories on the Insider business page.

Dollar General is spending $ 4.5 million on grants, partnerships and donations to support students and teachers who have faced continued disruption throughout the pandemic, the company exclusively told Insider.

Even before the pandemic, many teachers were forced to pay for school supplies for their class with their own money. Over the past year, educators have been tasked with moving from in-person instruction to distance learning to hybrid classroom models. Teacher burnout has been severe since the start of the pandemic, and many are leaving the profession altogether. Schools have started offering enrollment bonuses to attract staff.

And it was not just the teachers who faced challenges. Parents grapple with the challenges of home schooling and the lack of child care brought on by school closures. And the stress of all of these changes also took a heavy toll on school-aged children, many of whom struggled with distance learning.

Education has long been a philanthropic goal for Dollar General and the company’s eponymous literacy foundation, and the donation is made in honor of World Teachers’ Day.

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation will provide $ 3 million in youth literacy grants. A total of $ 1.45 million will go into a new partnership with education nonprofit DonorsChoose. And the remaining $ 50,000 will be donated to a local literacy association on World Teachers’ Day.

“Over the past year, the pandemic has had a significant impact on education, with more than 55 million students in the United States affected in one way or another,” Denine Torr, executive director of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation and vice president of social affairs at Dollar General. responsibility, says. “At the start of this back-to-school year, we were like, ‘Let’s do something that brings joy.'”

Through its partnership with DonorsChoose, the foundation also seeks to address the issue of educators who lose materials, such as class book sets, school library books, arts and crafts supplies that “never come out.” returned “to classrooms after students were sent home thanks to COVID-19[FEMININE[FEMININE

“The reason we love this so much is because teachers can come in and say precisely what supplies they want,” Torr said. “Then those needs are met. We all know teachers are spending way too much money out of their pocket. Most classrooms are grossly underfunded, even before the pandemic.”

Youth literacy scholarships should go to “local programs, local schools and libraries, and non-profit organizations that really help children learn and thrive,” Torr said.

Torr also spoke about how the issue of education and literacy has become so important to Dollar General. In 1939, businessman JL Turner founded the company that would one day become Dollar General.

“He was functionally illiterate,” Torr said. “He had to drop out in third grade to take care of the family farm after his father’s unexpected death.”

The Turner family established the Dollar General Literacy Foundation in 1993, to honor its legacy. So far, the foundation has donated over $ 203 million to the advancement of literacy.

“JL Turner had to start a Fortune 100 business with limited education,” Torr said. “But how do you harness this passion, this knowledge, this potential in each child and then give them the opportunity to grow and flourish.” In rural, suburban or urban areas, it doesn’t matter what zip code they are in or what stage they are in. It’s just about creating opportunities for all students to thrive. “

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