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American Dream Literacy Initiative

Grants to USA Public Libraries to Expand
Literacy and Adult Learner Services

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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American Library Association (ALA) and Dollar General Literacy Foundation

Deadline Date:

01/02/18 11:59 PM EST


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Grants of $10,000 to USA public libraries in multiple states to improve services for adult learners in communities where the funding source has a business presence. Programs may provide services to adults in need of workforce development and basic education, as well those seeking English language literacy. Applications are invited from libraries demonstrating the need for and the capacity to provide literacy services to adult beneficiaries.

About the American Dream Literacy Initiative:

Administered by ALA and funded by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, the American Dream Literacy Initiative is an adult literacy program based in public libraries throughout the U.S. To date, 185 libraries in Dollar General communities have initiated or expanded literacy services for adult English language learners. The grants allow libraries to augment their print and digital English as a Second Language (ESL) collections; increase computer access and training; provide job training; hold English Language Learning (ELL), General Education Development (GED), and citizenship classes; and raise the visibility of services for immigrant populations.

As part of the initiative, American Dream libraries build replicable programs, develop coalition-building strategies, and provide annotated lists of vetted resources for libraries across the country. ALA shares the libraries’ successes and strategies through our website, on webinars, and at state, regional, and national conferences. Through library-delivered services and community partnerships, the program has served thousands of English language learners and their families.

From its inception in 2007, the program has had a goal of developing tools and resources for libraries and library staff to provide effective literacy services to adult learners in their communities and across the country. Libraries are among America’s most democratic institutions—places of equitable access to education, information, and lifelong learning that strengthen communities and help create a more literate and just society. Libraries are also among the first institutions immigrants turn to for help with accessing and using technology and with learning how to read and write in English.

Purpose of the Grant:

To help public libraries in Dollar General communities add or expand literacy services for adult English language learners and/or adults in need of basic education and workforce development. Each funded library will receive a one-time grant to develop collections and services for adult learners and/or expand existing programs, add services and foster community partnerships.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 182472

Estimated Size of Grant:


Term of Contract:

The project year is February 2018 through December 2018.

Applicants must spend or allocate grant funds within 180 days of receipt.

Previous American Dream grant recipients are eligible to apply for an additional year of funding, with a limit of two consecutive years of funding. Once a library receives two consecutive years of funding, the library is eligible to apply again after a one-year hiatus.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

-A public library with a demonstrated need and the capacity to provide literacy services for adult English language learners and/or adults in need of basic education and workforce development
-Located within 20 miles of a Dollar General Store, distribution center, or corporate office

Dollar General Store Locator:

Pre-Application Information:

The completed application must be submitted online by 11:59 PM (EST), January 2, 2018.

Libraries selected for funding will be notified on January 15, 2018. Funds will be distributed on February 1, 2018.


Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Register online to apply:

For technical support with the online application:

Chris Miklius, PPO Program Officer for Data Applications
(800) 545-2433, x5292

Erik Cameron, PPO Director for Data Applications
(800) 545-2433 x3272

For grant-related questions and/or general information contact the Public Programs Office at:

(800) 545-2433 x5045

American Library Association
50 E. Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin