President’s Award Given to Denine Torr/Dollar General at USCAL
Denine Torr, director of Dollar General’s community initiatives division, was the recipient of the ProLiteracy President’s Award at the first United States Conference on Adult Literacy (USCAL) in Houston, Texas, November 2-5. The award, presented by ProLiteracy President and CEO David C. Harvey, honors Torr’s and Dollar General’s long-standing commitment and outstanding contribution to the field of adult literacy through the Dollar General Literacy Foundation (DGLF).
“We are so proud to present the ProLiteracy President’s Award to Denine,” said Harvey. “Dollar General has truly been an important partner in improving the lives of the millions of American adults who cannot read, write, or do math above a basic level. Denine has fiercely championed this cause with her role at Dollar General, and we are grateful everyday for her leadership as we continue to raise awareness about this important national issue.”
Torr joined Dollar General's community initiatives team in the fall of 1999. In her current role, she oversees corporate and foundation giving, employee volunteer engagement efforts, and assists with the development of cause related partnerships for Dollar General's 38 state market. Since 1999, she has designed and executed funding initiatives for Dollar General that have raised more than $63 million for charity.
“The Dollar General Literacy Foundation believes everyone should be given the opportunity to have access to education in order to reach their full potential,” said Torr, during her acceptance remarks at USCAL. Under Torr’s leadership, DGLF has supported adult and family literacy, community literacy initiatives, and national awareness building through the National Coalition for Literacy.
DGLF has also supported a variety of ProLiteracy’s efforts, including identifying and disseminating information around waiting lists and student referrals; providing professional development to build the capacity of hundreds of literacy service providers to collect, analyze, and use data to improve learner and program outcomes; and connecting potential students and volunteers to programs in communities across the nation.
USCAL, sponsored by ProLiteracy, is a national partnership that spans many sectors, including community colleges, public libraries, community-based organizations, and more. Twenty-six partners from fields such as consumer safety, workforce development, business, workforce development, and English as another language participated to help local organizations build new collaborations among different education and social service sectors in order to meet the growing demand for adult basic education support services.
In addition to honoring Torr, USCAL also included a keynote address by Barbara Bush, former first lady of the United States and founder of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy; an opening speech by Betty Anne Waters, the real-life heroine of story behind he movie “Conviction” starring Hilary Swank; and a public policy forum to discuss the economic trends that are threatening our nation’s publicly funded adult education system.
For additional details on USCAL, visit the USCAL website.
Dollar General Corporation, based in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, is the nation's largest small-box discount retailer, with more than 9,600 stores in 38 states. Dollar General's commitment to literacy is an integral part of the company's culture. Co-founder, J. L. Turner, was functionally illiterate when he started Dollar General, which is why the company’s commitment to literacy has remained so strong. Dollar General’s Literacy Foundation awards adult literacy grants to nonprofit organizations that provide service to adults in need. The Dollar General Literacy Foundation awarded more than $9.5 million in grants to more than 1,200 nonprofit organizations in 2011.