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Lockhart Junior High School’s ESL Department Receives $3,700 Grant from Dollar General Literacy Foundation

Heather Smith

The Lockhart Junior High ESL Department was recently awarded a $3,700 grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to support youth literacy initiatives. 

This local grant award is part of more than $3 million in grants awarded this fall to nearly 760 nonprofit organizations, libraries and schools across the 46 states that Dollar General serves.

“I feel so happy that our students will be able to have greater access to educational, culturally-relevant books in English, Spanish, and many other languages,” said Alethea Maldonado, ESL teacher at Lockhart Junior High School. “These resources will help us tremendously as we continue to strive for 1.5 years of literacy growth for each student.”

Five students in Lockhart Junior High School's ESL class post with their classmates and teacher in front of a whiteboard.

The school’s ESL program strives to provide an authentic, equitable, and culturally relevant curriculum that explores and celebrates students' diverse and unique backgrounds. Alethea and her peers aim to create engaging learning experiences where students can build community and voice through reading and writing workshop units.

Alethea initially applied for the grant in the Spring of 2021 in order to help build a more substantial literacy library in her classroom -- one that would include not only workbooks, but exciting reads for students, like poetry books and graphic novels.

“We created an extensive plan for this application, including our most important objectives, goals, and literacy workshop planning,” said Alethea. “It’s a great honor to receive this funding.”

“The Dollar General Literacy Foundation has been proud to invest in literacy and education programs in the communities we call home for nearly 30 years,” said Denine Torr, executive director of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation and vice president of corporate social responsibility at Dollar General. “As the educational landscape continues to shift, our hope is that these funds will help increase access and resources for students, educators and communities dedicated to reading and learning.”

Thank you for investing in and #UnLockingPotential in our Lions, Dollar General! #LockhartLeading