Northwest Mississippi Community College’s Adult Basic Education/GED program recently received a $10,000 grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to help students with literacy programs and to help pay GED testing fees.
According to Betty Cossar, ABE/GED transition coordinator, she heard about the grant from a colleague at another college and decided to apply for a grant for Northwest. Cossar stated that the largest amount Dollar General will grant to an individual program is $15, 000, so the ABE staff is very excited to have been awarded $10,000.
“I have written and been awarded grants before, but usually they were no more than $2,000 or so. We were absolutely shocked when we opened the envelope and saw the check for $10,000,” Cossar said. She added that she thought it was the largest single grant that the ABE program has ever been awarded. “We could not be more grateful to Dollar General,” Cossar said.
In order to receive the grant, Northwest needed to demonstrate their program objectives and how those objectives are met and measured. She also showed proof that the program has been supported by the community by recognizing that the program has received grants from Entergy, the Batesville Rotary Club and churches and individuals in the past. They also noted the illiteracy and high school drop out rates in the state and the unemployment rates in the state and in our local area, Cossar said.
The Dollar General Literacy Foundation was established in 1993 in honor of Dollar General’s co-founder, J.L. Turner, who was functionally illiterate with only a third grade education. He was a farmer’s son who dropped out of school when his father was killed in an accident. With determination and hard work, he began what has now become a successful company. Since 1993, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded more than $110 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and schools that have helped more than 6.8 million individuals learn to read, prepare for the high school equivalency test, or learn the English language.
Northwest ABE provides opportunities for person age 17 or above within the college’s 11-county district to receive basic skills education through the high school level. All adults, regardless of age, are able to attend classes to acquire basic education skills or to work for a certificate of high school equivalence (GED), the legal equivalent of a high school diploma. The GED certificate may be used for employment or further education. Northwest offers three authorized GED testing sites, and no tuition fees are charged for classes or for books, instructional materials or supplies. A fee is charged for those who take the GED test.
For more information, visit Northwest’s website at www.northwestms.edu.
Pictured: Northwest Mississippi Community College’s Adult Basic Education/GED program recently received a $10,000 grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to help students with literacy programs and to help pay GED testing fees. ABE instructors gathered at their fall in-service meetings to celebrate receiving the grant. Instructors pictured include Shannon Long, Victor Richardson, Ada Armstrong, Margarett Mays, Carrie Bradley, Martha Strong, Kandi Tippit, Shonnie Sullivan, Jennifer Williams, Kay Barron, Karen Harris, Mary Julia Moore, Kim Brown, Ketia Francis Johnson, Anthony Tolbert, Shana Blakely, Bob Bunkley, Kay Robinson, Beth Little (lead instructor) and Betty Cossar, transition specialist. (Photo by LaJuan Tallo)