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Dollar General donates to Halifax foundation

Dollar General is continuing its partnership with Halifax County Public Schools and the Halifax County Public Schools Education Foundation (HCPSEF) by donating $55,440, Dollar General and HCPSEF officials announced Thursday.

Dollar General will donate three books per student per year for the next three years to all elementary students in Halifax County, said Audrey Davidson, HCPSEF executive director. “Every child in grades K-5 will have the opportunity to select three books to take home for their personal library,” Davidson said.

Hank Bruining, Dollar General Human Resources director, said Cal Turner who was the founder of Dollar General in the 1930s could not read. “He (Turner) founded the Dollar General Foundation years ago, and the charity of choice has always been literacy,” Bruining said. “He wanted to make sure that people didn’t have the handicap of not being able to read that he had, and we’re just very pleased to be able to work with Halifax County Schools.”

Mike Dunn, senior director of distributions, agreed saying, “It’s an honor and a privilege to be able to participate in something like this. One of the building blocks for us to be what we are today is literacy, so we really push literacy.

“We have donations that are made in our stores every day by our customers, so we reach out throughout the 38 states that we’re in, and this is part of our program day in and day out,” Dunn added.

“I appreciate the fact that Dollar General is carrying on the legacy of Mr. Turner, and we appreciate the partnership you have with the foundation through which these funds can be channeled to purchase books for the children,” said Logan Young, HCPSEF president.

“Dollar General will donate approximately 8,400 books to 2,800 students each year for a total of 25,200 books over the next three years,” said Davidson. “The book allowance is $6.60 per child each year and will total $55,440 during the three years of the partnership.”

The Dollar General donation is part of a three-year national partnership with Reading is Fundamental (RIF) to provide books to children in 10 states where Dollar General has distribution centers and corporate offices.

“This will have an impact because there are kids out there that don’t get any type of book at all,” said Walter Potts, Halifax County School Board chairman. “And for them to get started from Dollar General, we want to make sure they know that so they’ll appreciate it even more.”

Linda Owen, supervisor of elementary education, invited the Dollar General officials to come to one of the elementary schools on the day the books are distributed to the students.

“We invite you come out and watch the children when they walk into the library,” said Owen. “They look and look, and then they find the perfect book that they get to take home and keep in their room.”

Superintendent of Schools Paul Stapleton also expressed his appreciation to Dollar General for the generous donation. “There’s no gift you can give a child that’s more important than a book,” he said.

“The unique thing is to me, this is one of the most special gifts we do in this county for our children, because not only are you giving them a book, which is the most important gift they can receive, you are basically building them their own personal library.

“I think that’s a legacy that will outlast all of us here today, and Mr. Turner was right, he couldn’t have picked anything that would be more appropriate for future generations than to deal with literacy,” Stapleton said.

“And for us as a public school system, we say thank you to Dollar General for everything you’re doing now for our children, helping those children learn to read, helping them appreciate books, and helping them start at an early age to develop their own library at home,” he concluded.