WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - The Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded more than $530,000 in literacy grants to Texas nonprofit organizations, libraries and schools and that includes one in Wichita County.
These funds are aimed at supporting adult, family, and summer literacy programs within a 20-mile radius of a Dollar General store or distribution center.
The statewide grants are part of more than $7.5 million that the Dollar General Literacy Foundation awarded on Wednesday morning.
The Region 9 Education Service Center in Wichita Falls will receive $8,700.
"This is amazing," Octaviano Garza, coordinator for the Adult Education and Literacy Program said.
The Adult Education and Literacy Program is funded by state and federal grants which provided its students with materials and classes needed to take high school equivalency exams.
But that funding does not allow for Region 9 to pay for the exams themselves. Those exams cost students $145.
Garza said these students are already challenged by not having an education and having to pay for the GED exam itself would put many at a disadvantage.
"Many students would have to wait until they had the money to take it," Garza said.
Garza said that could leave students vulnerable to forgetting information they had learned and set them up to not do well. But thanks to this grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, Region 9 can now pay for 60 GED exams.
"This allows us to remove that barrier for our students," Garza said.
Garza said the Adult Education and Literacy Program will continue to apply for this funding as long as the Dollar General Literacy Foundation is willing to give.