- Last Updated on 08:06 AM 12/20/13
- BY Ashley Hodge
First and second grade students filled the Sinai Elementary School cafeteria in Halifax Wednesday morning to see the unveiling of a surprise that even Principal Kevin Neal didn’t know about.
Dollar General arrived at Sinai Elementary School Wednesday morning ready to start a revolution. Company representatives carried a yellow and black box with a very special gift inside. When school leaders opened the box in front of a classroom of curious students, they were surprised and elated to find a check for $40,000.
Following a brief presentation, the $40,000 check was presented to Neal given by Dollar General Senior Resources Manager Hank Bruining and Operations Manager Matt Hunt.
“Dollar General is very passionate about its mission of ‘Serving Others,’ and we are all excited to surprise Sinai Elementary School with a donation to further their reading and literacy programs,” said Bruining. “We hope this donation will help equip the school with the tools and resources it needs to improve the learning experience for students.”
The donation from Dollar General is part of its new Reading Revolution program. The program aims to provide schools with additional resources to purchase books, computers and other educational supplies to enhance their reading and literacy programs.
Sinai Elementary School was chosen due to its close proximity to Dollar General’s distribution center in South Boston.
Dollar General plans to make donations to additional schools through its Reading Revolution program in various locations where it has a strong presence.
“By supporting Sinai Elementary School with this gift, we hope to help students become better readers, more successful students and lifelong learners,” said Denine Torr, Dollar General’s director of community initiatives.
According to Bruining, Sinai Elementary School was one of many specific schools selected throughout the country to receive a donation.
“We are incredibly pleased to be able to do this to Sinai Elementary, and I’m really excited to get some feedback on how you will use the funds,” said Bruining.
“It is such a generous donation,” said Neal.
“We have always been happy to partner with Dollar General and are proud of the teachers and students in this building who work so hard. It’s just wonderful for them that we’re going to be able to some things that we have in mind for the students and the teachers. It’s just a wonderful, wonderful gift.”
Prior to the revealing, Hunt and Bruining took turns reading two Christmas children books, “Merry Christmas Splat” and “Llama Llama Holiday Drama.”
It was no surprise when the two said they would like the money to focus on reading, providing things such as library enhancement for the children.
“At Dollar General, we feel very strongly that in order to build a strong foundation for education, it starts with reading,” said Bruining.
The children let out excitement as the crowd cheered and said a big “thank you” to Dollar General.
Witnessing the event was Superintendent Dr. Merle Herndon, Assistant Superintendent Valdivia Marshall, Director of Elementary Education/Professional Development Linda Owen and Halifax County School Board member Fay Satterfield.
Dollar General has had a long relationship with Sinai Elementary School dating back to 1997 when the distribution center came to Halifax.
“We have partnered with a lot of things in Sinai such as providing school supplies at the beginning of the year and funding the reading is fundamental program,” said Hunt.
The local RIF program, sponsored by Dollar General Corporation, enables students to select free paperback books for ownership.
The South Boston Distribution Center is located on 3207 Philpott Road.