A $2,000 check delivered Monday, Oct. 21 to Central Valley High School officials from the Dollar General store in the Richland Shopping Center will be used to get kids excited about literacy.
The store has been collecting change from customers and in some cases outright debit card donations for the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. Store manager Matthew Lightner – who used to be a teacher – requested that money raised in Ceres stay in Ceres and foundation officials were happy to issue a literacy grant.
Principal Carol Lubinsky said the money will be spent by the school library for books or programs designed to promote reading.
“We’ll put it to good use,” Lubinsky said.
Cashier Lisa Nunes has been one the driving forces behind the donation collection effort. Lightner said she has been passionate about the project. She started collection efforts last year that resulted in supplying $2,000 for Ceres High School.
“It’s a bit of a struggle to continue with the donations,” said Lightner. “This isn’t something normal. Normally schools don’t get a donation through the stores so I’m taking on the responsibility of making sure we collect that literacy money and it accumulates then I distribute within Ceres.”
Lightner said that the foundation was created in honor of Dollar General founder J.L. Turner, a farmer’s son who only had a third-grade education. He opened his first store in 1939 and turned it into a Fortune 200 company. The foundation has since given more than $120 million in grants to schools and non-profit organizations that promote literacy.
Lightner said his store remains incredibly busy and hasn’t the highest sales volume in his district, which runs from Ceres down to Clovis.