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3/26/2015

Passionate Literacy Champion, Denine Torr of Dollar General, Joins ProLiteracy Board of Directors

ProLiteracy, the largest adult literacy and basic education membership organization in the nation, is pleased to announce that Denine Torr will be joining its Board of Directors. Denine is the director of Community Initiatives at Dollar General Corporation in Nashville, Tennessee and in the role has been instrumental in advancing the company’s strong commitment to literacy and education efforts nationwide. She oversees corporate and foundation giving, employee volunteer engagement efforts, and assists with the development of cause-related partnerships for Dollar General.

Denine joined the Dollar General Community Initiatives team in 1999 and has designed and executed funding initiatives that have raised more than $100 million for charity. She was instrumental in the creation of the Dollar General Employee Assistance Foundation and growth of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation (DGLF). To date, the DGLF has awarded more than $98 million to literacy initiatives, helping more than 5.8 million individuals learn to read, prepare for the high school equivalency or learn English. Under Denine’s leadership, the DGLF has supported adult, family, youth and community literacy programs, and has helped build national awareness for the cause of literacy.

“ProLiteracy is proud to welcome Denine Torr to our Board of Directors,” says Kevin Morgan, president and CEO of ProLiteracy. “Denine has been a champion of adult literacy through her work with Dollar General, and we value the skills, dedication, and leadership she brings to our board.”

“There are 36 million adults in the United States that lack basic education and literacy skills. As we continue to look for ways to strengthen our communities, workforce and nation. Organizations like ProLiteracy are crucial in addressing this great need,” said Denine. “I look forward to working with the ProLiteracy Board of Directors and their continued efforts to increase access to quality literacy services.”

About ProLiteracy
ProLiteracy believes every adult has the right to literacy. ProLiteracy, the largest adult literacy and basic education membership organization in the nation, is committed to creating a world in which all adults are literate. ProLiteracy has 1,000 member programs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. They also work with 52 nongovernmental organizations in 34 developing countries. For more information contact Dee Cater, marketing and communication manager, at dcater@proliteracy.org.

About Dollar General Literacy Foundation
The Dollar General Literacy Foundation is proud to support initiatives that help others improve their lives through literacy and education as part of the company’s mission of serving others for over 20 years. Since its inception in 1993, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded more than $98 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping more than 5.8 million individuals take their first steps toward literacy or continued education. For more information about the Dollar General Literacy Foundation and its grant programs, visit www.dgliteracy.com.

 

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3/5/2015

ProLiteracy Calls for Additional Funding in the President's Budget Request to Address Adult Literacy

Recently, President Obama announced his FY16 budget request to Congress to fund adult education. ProLiteracy was extremely disappointed to see a virtually flat budget compared to FY15, especially in light of brand new WIOA legislation, an act long overdue for addressing the needs of millions of American adults with very basic skills.

While national leadership activities saw a modest increase of $6 million, state grants are proposed to be funded at the same level as FY15—approximately $5.5 billion. This level is at least 15 percent below the amount authorized by WIOA.

The President has proposed separate new funding for a community college initiative and $200 million for a new American Technical Training Fund for job training programs. While ProLiteracy applauds these efforts, no mention was made of the 36 million low-literacy adults whose skills are far below those required to participate in community college programs, pass high school-equivalency exams, or even fill out job applications.

Data from the Program for International Assessment of Adult Competencies study (PIAAC) from 2013 show the depth of the adult literacy problem in the United States. Fifty-one percent of adults 16-24 and nearly 50 percent of those in the 25-34 and 35-44 cohorts scored at the two very lowest literacy levels. This is our nation’s workforce. We need to respond to the needs of these populations—those at the highest risk—immediately. Childhood literacy cannot be solved without first addressing adults.

Ten years ago, 52 percent of ProLiteracy member programs—comprised of primarily community-based organizations and volunteers—received federal/state funding. Now, for 2013-14, our data shows that under 38 percent of our programs receive this funding. The adult literacy problem has increased from 30 million adults in 2003 with very low skills to 36 million in 2013. Without funding to support this population, the adult literacy problem in the United States will continue to grow. ProLiteracy implores President Obama to increase funding for state adult education grants.

 

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2/27/2015

ProLiteracy Receives American Express Grant to Develop Financial Literacy Tools for Women

ProLiteracy, the largest adult literacy and basic education membership organization in the United States, has received support from American Express to develop a financial literacy education project aimed at assisting low-literate women with managing money.

The Women and Financial Literacy project will include updating ProLiteracy’s “Control Your Money” guidebook, creating an online collection of companion resources, and developing an interactive mobile application.

“In our 2014 Women and Financial Literacy white paper, we found that 57 percent of women with low literacy do not know what their credit score is,” says Kevin Morgan, president and CEO of ProLiteracy. “Yet our research showed that the overwhelming majority of these women desire to learn more about financial literacy and how to manage their money. The goal of this grant program is to provide women with the confidence they need to create personal or household budgets and to more actively participate in the management of their families’ finances.”

A pilot group of 10 ProLiteracy member programs serving an estimated 200 students will complete the facilitated financial literacy online courses and receive 200 "Control Your Money" guides and app downloads. Ultimately, these pilot efforts will help refine the project materials and resources so they can be shared with literacy providers nationwide. The Women and Financial literacy project will also be presented at the ProLiteracy National Conference on Adult Literacy in Charleston, SC, in October 2015.

“We’re grateful to American Express for this support, which will go a long way toward empowering low-literate women as earners, savers, and borrowers and help give them the knowledge and confidence they need to understand basic financial principles,” says Morgan. “We look forward to make positive strides toward improving the financial literacy education of women with low literacy.”

 

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| New Readers Press International Programs Ruth J. Colvin Center ProLiteracy Education Network