GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 22, 2005--An immigrant from Ukraine and a career English teacher received top honors from Dollar General Corporation (NYSE:DG) for their inspiring efforts to make the American dream come to life. Dollar General honored Sister Mary Ellen Garvey, Godfrey, Ill., as literacy tutor of the year and Vlad Slopak of Danville, Pa., as literacy student of the year at the 2005 ProLiteracy Worldwide Conference.
As part of their recognition, Garvey and Slopak received a trophy, a $1,000 travel stipend and a $1,500 grant to their respective nominating organization - Lewis & Clark Community College and Susquehanna Valley Adult Literacy Cooperative.
"On behalf of Dollar General, I commend Sister Mary Ellen Garvey and Vlad Slopak on their tremendous achievements. They are examples of how literacy and education can change lives," said David Perdue, Dollar General chairman and CEO. "Dollar General firmly believes in the importance of literacy education and supports these initiatives through the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, which was created to offer reading and educational opportunities to everyone."
Sister Mary Ellen Garvey, tutor of the year, has spent her life serving others. She taught English to elementary and high school students for 50 years and taught English as a Second Language (ESL) for five years. Following a debilitating stroke in 2000, Sister Mary Ellen continued to help others pursue their dreams of learning to read by tutoring at IMPACT, an organization that assists individuals with disabilities, then by tutoring at Lewis & Clark Community College in Godfrey, Ill. Sister Mary Ellen is an advocate for literacy and believes in the importance of reading and education for the advancement of both the individual and the community. She received this honor because she personifies Dollar General's mission to serve others through her work and commitment to literacy.
Student of the year, Vlad Slopak, came to the United States from Ukraine only three years ago and had very limited English skills. While visiting a Dollar General store, he picked up a brochure about learning English and was referred to the Susquehanna Valley Adult Literacy Cooperative. Slopak has been learning English for the past 18 months. His literacy program describes him as a "symbol of the American spirit" filled with generosity and kindness. He also volunteers his time at the Maria Joseph Manor and Good Samaritan clothing store. Slopak was chosen as student of the year due to his determination to learn English, while continuing to give back to the community.
Dollar General is committed to serving and helping those who are interested in learning to read or further their education. At the checkout counter of every Dollar General store is a brochure that tells the story of Dollar General's founder, J.L. Turner, who had only a third grade education. Customers can complete a response card to get more information about learning to read, obtaining a GED or learning English as a Second Language.
About Dollar General
Dollar General is a Fortune 500® discount retailer with more than 7,800 neighborhood stores. Dollar General stores offer convenience and value to customers by offering consumable basic items that are frequently used and replenished, such as food, snacks, health and beauty aids and cleaning supplies, as well as a selection of basic apparel, house wares and seasonal items at everyday low prices. The company has a longstanding tradition of supporting literacy and education in the U.S. In 2004, the company helped more than 8,700 people take their first steps toward literacy, a general education diploma or English proficiency. For more information about Dollar General, go to www.dollargeneral.com.
ProLiteracy Worldwide, the largest organization of community-based literacy programs in the world, represents 1,200 local program affiliates in all 50 states and 104 partner programs in 54 developing countries. Through this extensive global reach, ProLiteracy provides the training, technical assistance, materials and other support that local literacy programs need to assist adults and their families to acquire or improve their literacy skills. These affiliates and partners work with more than 350,000 adult literacy students each year. ProLiteracy Worldwide is headquartered in Syracuse, N.Y. For more information, please visit www.proliteracy.org.
CONTACT: Dollar General Corporation, Goodlettsville
Tawn Earnest, 615-855-5209
Emily Snyder, 615-855-5210
SOURCE: Dollar General Corporation