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And the Dollar General Afterschool Literacy Award winner is...

By Nikki Yamashiro

Congratulations to New American Pathways’ Bright Futures Afterschool Program, our first Dollar General Afterschool Literacy Award winner!  The Afterschool Alliance and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation recognized Bright Futures yesterday morning at the joint National AfterSchool Association (NAA) annual convention and Afterschool Alliance Afterschool for All Challenge.

Jackson Routh, community initiatives manager at the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, shared with the audience a moving story of Dollar General’s co-founder, J.L. Turner, who had to drop out of school in the third grade due to his father’s passing, leaving school without the ability to read.  Turner went on to successfully establish Dollar General, but recognizing that all children are not afforded equal educational opportunities, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation was created to ensure that every individual has the foundational skills to succeed in school and career and supports literacy building efforts across the country.

Accepting the award on the program’s behalf were Bright Futures’ education and youth manager Peter Epstein, middle school youth coordinator Mary Kathryn Tippett, eighth grader Bishal Mager and sixth grader Paler Mar.  As the Dollar General Afterschool Literacy Award winner, Bright Futures was awarded $10,000 and featured in the new Building Literacy in Afterschool issue brief.  In addition, program staff presented in a workshop session at the NAA annual convention and Afterschool Alliance Afterschool for All Challenge alongside staff from two afterschool programs also included in the issue brief, Simpson Street Free Press from Dane County, Wisconsin and Positive Direction Youth Center from Atlanta, Georgia. 

The Afterschool Alliance could not be prouder to award Bright Futures, an afterschool program that focuses on ensuring that Atlanta’s refugee students are academically prepared to enter high school—providing targeted one-on-one support to students who are at the highest risk of falling behind academically, as well as offering a host of support services to families, including helping students’ parents understand and navigate a school system that is new to them.

Learn more about Bright Futures, as well as the variety of ways afterschool programs are engaging students in literacy and developing skills necessary to succeed in school and in work, in Building Literacy in Afterschool.

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