The Tennessee-based Dollar General Literacy Foundation has announced grants totaling $1 million to help repair and restock school libraries damaged by natural disasters.
The grants were awarded through Beyond Words: The Dollar General School Library Relief Fund, a collaborative effort of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, the American Association of School Librarians, the American Library Association, and the National Education Association that was created after Hurricane Katrina to help public schools rebuild and expand their library programs after a disaster. Since its inception in 2006, the fund has supported more than 113 school libraries with grants to help defray the cost of replacing or supplementing books, media, and/or equipment.
To be eligible, school libraries must be located within twenty miles of a Dollar General store, distribution center, or corporate office. Applicants also must have lost a building or incurred substantial damage or hardship due to a natural disaster, fire, or an act recognized by the federal government as terrorism.
"School libraries play an important role in providing our nation's children with the educational resources needed to compete in the global marketplace," said Dollar General chairman and CEO Rick Dreiling. "We are proud to partner with the ALA and AASL in their mission to bring relief to school libraries most affected by these devastating disasters and hope our funding can help make the recovery and rebuilding process a little easier."