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American Dream Grants

Round Six

With a generous grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, the American Library Association (ALA) is launching the sixth round of American Dream grants to public libraries to expand services to adult English language learners and/or adults in need of basic education and workforce development. For Round Six we are offering one-time $10,000 grants.

To be eligible for funding, the applicant institution must be a public library within 20 miles of a Dollar General Store, distribution center or corporate office: Dollar General Store Locator

The application period is now over. The program year will begin in February 2018.

About the American Dream Literacy Initiative

Administered by ALA and funded by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, the American Dream Literacy Initiative is an adult literacy program based in public libraries throughout the U.S. To date, 185 libraries in Dollar General communities have initiated or expanded literacy services for adult English language learners. The grants allow libraries to augment their print and digital English as a Second Language (ESL) collections; increase computer access and training; provide job training; hold English Language Learning (ELL), General Education Development (GED), and citizenship classes; and raise the visibility of services for immigrant populations.

As part of the initiative, American Dream libraries build replicable programs, develop coalition-building strategies, and provide annotated lists of vetted resources for libraries across the country. ALA shares the libraries’ successes and strategies through our website, on webinars, and at state, regional, and national conferences. Through library-delivered services and community partnerships, the program has served thousands of English language learners and their families.

From its inception in 2007, the program has had a goal of developing tools and resources for libraries and library staff to provide effective literacy services to adult learners in their communities and across the country. Libraries are among America’s most democratic institutions—places of equitable access to education, information, and lifelong learning that strengthen communities and help create a more literate and just society. Libraries are also among the first institutions immigrants turn to for help with accessing and using technology and with learning how to read and write in English.

The current cohort of nineteen grantee libraries marks the program's fifth round.

View the list of 2017 American Dream libraries

To access the application system, sign in with your apply.ala.org profile.