OSUIT’s Literacy Program Receives $10,000 Grant

Fran Colombin, coordinator of OSUIT's Adult Basic Education program, works with students working toward their GED.

For the third consecutive year, OSU Institute of Technology’s Adult Basic Education program received a $10,000 grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.

The literacy foundation awarded more than $7.1 million in grants to more than 900 schools, programs and nonprofit organizations in 43 states.

Fran Colombin is coordinator of Adult Basic Education and M-Power, two programs under the direction of OSUIT Workforce & Economic Development.

“I was absolutely thrilled to hear that we were awarded the Dollar General Literacy Foundation grant again and also very surprised. It is my understanding that the foundation normally doesn’t award grants back to back to the same recipient,” Colombin said.

The ABE program assists adult students at all education levels, including those in need of adult literacy classes, in Okmulgee, Hughes and Seminole counties.

The grant funding will be used to purchase books, testing prompts, supplies and equipment, as well go toward teachers' salaries.

“Our funds have been drastically reduced every year— just like everyone else’s in the state of Oklahoma. This grant has allowed me to keep the classroom doors open the past three summers,” she said. “As long as our doors are open, our students continue to come to class.”

Awarding grants to programs like OSUIT’s ABE program is consistent with Dollar General’s mission of serving others, said the company’s CEO Todd Vasos.

“It is always exciting to see the true and meaningful impact the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has on both children and adults looking to improve their lives through literacy,” Vasos said in a statement announcing the grant awards.

All Colombin can say is thank you over and over again.

“I believe the Dollar General Literacy Foundation realizes how important adult basic education classes are to help people break out of the generational poverty cycle they’ve lived in for years,” she said. “Their generosity has changed the lives of so many people, not only in Oklahoma, but across the United States. We are so grateful for all they do.”

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