“Reading Puts You on the Track to Victory” reading program also sends elementary students to the race

Reinforcing its commitment to literacy and education, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation and Unilever presented $70,000 in total grants to 25 Charlotte-area schools and Speedway Children’s Charities at the NASCAR® Nationwide Series Dollar General 300 on Friday, Oct. 15. Speedway Children’s Charities and each of the following elementary schools received $2,500 from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation: Celeste Henkel, Central, Cloverleaf, Coddle Creek, Cool Spring, East Iredell, Harmony, Lake Norman, Lakeshore, NB Mills, Scotts, Sharon, Shepherd, Third Creek, Troutman, Union Grove, Woodland Heights, Pitts School Road, Harrisburg, Bethel, R. Brown McAllister, Mount Pleasant, W.R. Odell, Weddington Hills and W.M. Irvin.

“Developing solid reading skills is critical to a child’s future academic success,” said Todd Vasos, Dollar General’s chief merchandising officer.  “The Dollar General Literacy Foundation strongly supports improving literacy for children across the country. As part of our DG 300 festivities, we are proud to help Charlotte-area schools enhance their literacy initiatives and put children on the track to victory through reading.”

Representatives from each school and Speedway Children’s Charities received their grant from Vasos and Jeff Keohane, of Unilever’s Customer Development Team, prior to the start of the DG 300 race.

Dollar General and Unilever have also been promoting reading among the elementary students at each of these schools through the “Reading Puts You on the Track to Victory” reading program.  For a period of 18 days, students tracked their time spent reading outside of the classroom.  Students who met the reading requirement received a pack of six racing shaped wristbands.  Other reading incentives for students and their classrooms included a visit from a driver to read their favorite book, ice cream party, Dollar General gift cards and bookmarks.

“Together with Dollar General, Unilever is proud to sponsor Reading Puts you on the Track to Victory,” said Unilever’s Keohane.  “This exciting program serves as a real catalyst for these young students to further develop their reading skills, which can make an enormous difference in their education and, indeed, their future.”

“Like any good race we want our young people to cross the finish line as winners,” said Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway and president of Speedway Children’s Charities Charlotte Chapter. “Speedway Children’s Charities is proud to help improve the literacy of children across our area and to be able to incorporate the importance of education into the Dollar General 300 festivities at Charlotte Motor Speedway.”

Since its founding, Dollar General has been committed to supporting literacy and education. To further this support, the company founded the Dollar General Literacy Foundation in 1993 to improve the functional literacy of adults and families by providing grants to non-profit organizations dedicated to the advancement of literacy.  To learn more about Dollar General’s literacy initiatives and available grants, visit www.dollargeneral.com.

About Dollar General

Dollar General is a leading discount retailer with more than 9,000 neighborhood stores in 35 states. Dollar General stores provide convenience and value to customers by offering consumable basic items such as food, snacks, health and beauty aids and cleaning supplies, as well as basic apparel, house wares and seasonal items at everyday low prices. The company has a longstanding tradition of supporting literacy and education. Since its inception in 1993, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded more than $50 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping more than 2.8 million individuals take their first steps toward literacy, a general education diploma or English proficiency. To learn more about Dollar General, visit www.dollargeneral.com.

About Unilever in the United States

Unilever works to create a better future every day.  We help people feel good, look good and get more out of life with brands and services that are good for them and good for others.  Each day, around the world, we serve over two billion consumers. In the United States the portfolio includes brand icons such as: Axe, Ben & Jerry’s, Bertolli, Breyers, Caress, Country Crock, Degree, Dove personal care products, Hellmann’s, Klondike, Knorr, Lipton, Popsicle, Promise, Q-Tips, Skippy, Slim-Fast, Suave, Sunsilk and Vaseline. All of the preceding brand names are registered trademarks of the Unilever Group of Companies. Dedicated to serving consumers and the communities where we live, work and play, Unilever employs more than 10,000 people in the United States – generating over $8 billion in sales in 2009. For more information, visit www.unileverusa.com.