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Dollar General, Unilever present grants totaling $72,500 to more than two dozen Charlotte-area schools

GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. — Dollar General, in partnership with Unilever, concluded the seventh annual "Reading Puts You on the Track to Victory" reading program last week by presenting grants totaling $72,500 to more than two dozen Charlotte-area elementary schools. The grants were presented to school leaders during pre-race ceremonies at the Dollar General 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Oct. 11. 

"This program is an innovative way to encourage young students to develop a love of reading, which is so important to their success in school and in life," stated Rick Dreiling, chairman and CEO Dollar General. "Encouraging children to read and providing literacy grants to Charlotte-area schools exemplifies our mission of serving others. It's rewarding to see so many children achieve the high goals they set for themselves by spending more time reading."

David Tehle, Dollar General's executive vice president and chief financial officer (middle) and Krees Kruythoff, Unilever North America's President (right) present a check for $72,500 to Charlotte-area educators in pre-race ceremonies at the Dollar General 300 as part of the Reading Puts You on the Track to Victory program. (Photo: Business Wire)

The program encourages students to read outside the classroom and achieve reading goals. More than 6,000 students from 28 local schools read for more than 2.8 million minutes. Each participating school received a $2,500 grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.

Over the past seven years, the program has awarded more than $350,000 to 40 Charlotte-area schools.

All participating schools received a collection of favorite childhood books from Dollar General and Unilever NASCAR drivers, and were eligible for other prizes. By averaging 285 minutes read, Ashley Park PreK-8 School won a driver read-aloud featuring Dollar General NASCAR drivers Matt Kenseth and Brian Vickers. All children who met or exceeded their grade-level reading goals received a racing-themed prize. Jackson Kessler, a first-grader at Royal Oaks Elementary School, read more than 1,170 minutes and was this year's grand prize winner, earning a special VIP experience at the NASCAR Nationwide Series Dollar General 300. He also received a collection of autographed books from Kenseth and Vickers, as well as Unilever NASCAR drivers Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Regan Smith. 

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