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Posted: June 11, 2010 12:30 a.m.

Dollar General awards Newton County READS

Emphasizing their mission statement to support literacy and education skills to all ages, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation awarded Newton County READS a $10,000 grant on May 20.

Newton County READS was founded in 2000 and is a part of the local chapter of the Georgia Certified Literate Community Program. The program is one of 55 across the state that concentrates on facilitating needs for students to achieve literacy goals and general education diplomas.

"I applied for the grant and after meeting all of the criteria and sending them the plans, they chose our organization and awarded us the $10,000," said Renee Jones, director of Newton County READS. "We are getting ready to expand our program to two more locations and wanted to be able to have the things we needed like books, supplies, computers and equipment. So this helps us out so much."

In August, Newton County READS plans to expand their programs to two new locations. Working with Nelson Heights Center, they will be reinforcing their mission by helping area residents enroll into community GED programs.

"Since we began, we have helped over 4,000 individuals that includes GED students as well as literacy students," said Jones. "Along with supplies and equipment, this grant will also help underserved residents who cannot afford the classes and tests by providing them with sponsorships and scholarships."

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation, established in 1993, has awarded more than $47 million in grants to various nonprofit organizations. The organization has helped 2.5 million individuals develop indispensable skills toward general education diplomas and English proficiency and literacy.

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