Facebook pixel STLCC Receives Dollar General Grant to Support Adult Literacy

STLCC Receives Dollar General Grant to Support Adult Literacy

2022 HiSET program graduatesThe Dollar General Literacy Foundation recently awarded St. Louis Community College a $6,000 grant to support its FastTrack HiSET program.

This local grant is part of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation’s recent award of $10.5 million donation to support summer, family and adult literacy programs, representing the organization’s largest one-day grant donation in its 29-year history.

“We are grateful to the Dollar General Literacy Foundation for these funds that will provide life-changing opportunities for program participants,” said Jo-Ann Digman, executive director of the St. Louis Community College Foundation.

STLCC’s HiSET program is offered through its continuing education adult education and literacy section.

“The STLCC FastTrack HiSET program helps out-of-school adults in St. Louis City achieve high school equivalency quickly, which improves their workforce readiness or prepares them for secondary education,” said Susan Ryffel, adult education and literacy instructor and transition specialist. She and curriculum designer Kathy Bender, who holds the same title, teach the classes.

Unlike traditional GED/HiSET classes, the FastTrack program achieves success through immediate enrollment, flexible hours, a curriculum tailored to each student, skilled and avid instructors and tutors, and by providing HiSET testing vouchers, gas cards and bus tickets for each student. Graduates have immediate support from a dedicated transitions coordinator who guides them through college or job applications and connects them to STLCC’s workforce training programs.

Since moving the program in 2017 from the St. Patrick Center to STLCC, 340 adults have attained their high school equivalency.

The grant will be used for HiSET full battery testing vouchers, HiSET individual test vouchers, and gas cards for up to 104 program graduates who plan to continue their education at STLCC.

"For nearly 30 years, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has been proud to invest in literacy and education programs in our hometown communities," said Denine Torr, executive director of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. "The recent and significant shifts in the educational landscape have made the Foundation’s mission more critically important. As we work to create access to high-quality instruction for all individuals, we share our gratitude for the educators who are working to uplift and empower others. We hope these funds will have a meaningful impact on students and teachers across the country and look forward to seeing the positive impact they have on learners.”

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation supports organizations that increase access to educational programming, stimulate and enable innovation in the delivery of educational instruction and inspire a love of reading. Each year, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation awards funds to nonprofit organizations, schools and libraries within a 15-mile radius of a Dollar General store or distribution center to support adult, family, summer and youth literacy programs. The foundation also offers a student referral program for individuals interested in learning how to read, speak English or prepare for the high school equivalency exam. Referrals to a local organization that provides free literacy services are available through referral cards found in the “Learn to Read” brochures that are available at the cash register of every Dollar General store. 

Since 1993, the foundation has awarded more than $216 million in grants, helping more than 15.4 million individuals take their first steps toward literacy, a general education diploma or English proficiency.

Back to top