Geary County Schools receives $2,000 grants from Dollar General Literacy Foundation to support student literacy initiative at juvenile detention center

JUNCTION CITY, Kan. — Geary County Schools USD 475 was recently awarded a $2,000 grant from Dollar General Literacy Foundation to support its student literacy initiative at the North Central Kansas Regional Juvenile Detention Facility, in both the Detention and Secure Care centers.

(From left): Instructor Cathy Rankin, Lead Instructor John Davis, and Instructor Donna Shell with the check for the grant awarded from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.

The grant will go toward increasing the number of high-interest and lower-level books to meet the diverse needs of the students within the facility.

“Our voracious readers will have more choices, and our lower-level readers will have high-interest books as they read to increase their reading levels,” said Donna Shell, an instructor at the facility. The educational opportunities at the facility are overseen by Geary County Schools.

Through monthly testing, the district has found almost all the students within the Geary County Secure Care Center have reading deficits, some at four or more levels below their grade.

“Due to factors that lead to them missing school, whether that be incarceration, skipping or running away, their education is continually interrupted, which magnifies the factors contributing to their high-risk status,” said Cathy Rankin, an instructor at the facility. “Having a wide variety of high-interest books keeps them reading, which, in turn, will help them increase their reading levels.”

This Dollar General Literacy Foundation grant is part of more than $3 million in grants awarded this fall to nearly 760 nonprofit organizations, libraries, and schools across the 46 states that Dollar General serves.

For media inquiries, please contact Lindley Lund, Marketing and Media Specialist for Geary County Schools USD 475, at