Wilson School gets holiday gift


Dollar General donates $10,000 to Wilson Middle School in Exeter through its literacy foundation

By Patrick Dillon @PDillon_SGN

EXETER – Wilson Middle School was a recipient of some early holiday giving on Tuesday, Dec. 18. Dollar General donated $10,000 to the school through the company’s literacy foundation on the first day of the company’s “12 Days of Giving” campaign.

“It is great to see local companies giving back and helping out our schools,” Wilson Middle School assistant principal Rory Collinwood said.

Wilson’s Principal Stephen Bradley was first notified by The General Dollar Literacy Foundation that his school was going to receive a donation in November. Bradley says this is the first time in his 18 years in education has he received a donation that could be used in so many ways.

“I had the district look into it and it came back clean,” Bradley said. “A lot of the money we usually get from the district or state is earmarked.”

Now that Bradley has the check in hand, he is unsure of how to use it. A possible project might be to upgrade the school’s library since it fits with the literacy focus of the program. But he is wanting to open it up to all the staff and students to see what they would like to see on campus.

“This is a one time donation that will allow us to do something we wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise,” Bradley said.

Wilson is just the latest beneficiary of a program that has given back more than $160 million to schools and programs who promote literacy over the past 25 years. Wilson will be able to use the funds to support any literacy initiatives they might have on their agenda.

Dollar General’s co-founder James Luther “J.L.” Turner had to drop out of school in the third grade, so he could work on the family farm to help provide for his family after his father was killed in an accident. While the decision was necessary at the time, it left him functionally illiterate.

Turner vowed to do everything he could to help those who desired to learn and live better lives, no matter how late in life they were to achieve those goals. That is why, in 1993, The Dollar General Literacy Foundation was established in his honor.

Funds for the foundation are gathered in a variety of ways. The most common being through donors, but even shoppers can do their part just by buying products. Dollar General locations sell items where 100% of the proceeds go toward a donation which a school or qualifying program can apply for within 50 miles of the stores’ location.

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