School of Lifelong Learning at Jackson State University receives $8,000 grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to support adult literacy

(JACKSON, Miss.) — Jackson State University’s School of Lifelong Learning has received an $8,000 grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. The funds will be used to support adult literacy at the School of Lifelong Learning’s Continuing Education Learning Center.

This local grant is part of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation’s recent $10.5 million donation to support summer, family and adult literacy programs throughout the country. The multimillion-dollar award is the organization’s largest one-day grant donation in its 28-year history.

Dr. Carlos Wilson

“Literacy is extremely important in transitioning students into engaged and productive citizens. Providing this service to the Jackson Metro Area is vital to increasing the available workforce and improving the socioeconomic trajectory of our communities,” states Dr. Carlos Wilson, director of the School of Lifelong Learning.

Marquita Shelby

Lead ABE instructor Marquita Shelby adds, “I am grateful to the Dollar General Literacy Foundation for their continuous support of Jackson State University’s Continuing Education Learning Center (CELC). This support will continue to assist the CELC in reaching our goals of increasing the literacy levels of learners and the attainment of their General Equivalency Diplomas.”

Shelby says change is needed in the Jackson Metro area, and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation helps to be a part of that needed change. She further expresses appreciation for the foundation seeing the value in the Continuing Education Learning Center.

The adult education classes will provide adults the opportunity to earn a high school credential. It will also measure career and college readiness skills, which are the focus of today’s curriculum and needed for success in both workforce and college programs. The learners recruited for the proposed program will be undereducated/unemployed/underemployed residents in the service delivery areas of Hinds, Madison, and Rankin counties who are seeking to enhance their abilities through obtaining their HSED and improving their grade level in reading by 1.5 level higher within 150 hours of instruction.

“For nearly 30 years, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has been proud to invest in literacy and education programs in our hometown communities,” said Denine Torr, executive director of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. “The recent and significant shifts in the educational landscape have made the Foundation’s mission more critically important. As we work to create access to high-quality instruction for all individuals, we share our gratitude for the educators working to uplift and empower others. We hope these funds will have a meaningful impact on students and teachers across the country and look forward to seeing the positive impact they have on learners.”

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation supports organizations that increase access to educational programming, stimulate and enable innovation in delivering educational instruction and inspire a love of reading. Each year, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation awards funds to nonprofit organizations, schools and libraries within a 15-mile radius of a Dollar General store or distribution center to support adult, family, summer and youth literacy programs. The Foundation also offers a student referral program for individuals interested in learning how to read, speak English, or prepare for the high school equivalency exam.

Referrals to a local organization that provides free literacy services are available online here or through referral cards found in the Learn to Read brochures available at the cash register of every Dollar General store.

About Jackson State University School of Lifelong Learning

The School of Lifelong Learning is a unit within the Jackson State University College of Education and Human Development.

The School is equipped to meet the needs of the present-day workforce, nontraditional and other adult learners throughout the state, region and nation. The School is designed for adult learners who wish to begin, continue, complete or enhance his or her development on a part-time or full-time basis. Additionally, the School serves as a training center for state, local, public and private agencies, as well as an undergraduate student classroom and research facility. The mission of the Continuing Education Learning Center (CELC) is to offer adult students quality learning opportunities throughout their lifetime. The primary goal of the School of Lifelong Learning’s CELC at Jackson State University is to make a significant impact on the literacy level of the greater-Jackson area’s workforce and thereby make a positive impact on the local, state and national economy.

About the Dollar General Literacy Foundation

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation is proud to support initiatives that help others improve their lives through literacy and education. Since 1993, the Foundation has awarded more than $197 million in grants, helping more than 14 million individuals take their first steps toward literacy, a general education diploma or English proficiency. Cal Turner Jr. founded the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to honor his grandfather and Dollar General’s co-founder, J.L. Turner, who was functionally illiterate, dropping out of school in the third grade to support his family. The Foundation aims to provide support to schools, libraries and nonprofit organizations that seek to improve adult, summer, youth and family literacy initiatives. To learn more about the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, visit