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Hopkins Gets Early

Holiday Gift

By Steve Linscomb, JISD Communications

Many people stop by their stores in

various locations around the San

Antonio metro area without think-

ing about the company being a be

contributor to the lives of kids.

That will change now as Dollar

General visited Hopkins Elementary School in the

City of Kirby to present a surprise gift. That surprise

gift kept hidden in a little black box ended up being a

$50,000 donation to the school’s literacy and reading


This huge gift was kept secret

to the point that not even

Hopkins Principal Terry

Combs knew what it was all

about, so naturally she was a

little hesitant at first to agree

to a big presentation that she

knew so little about. But

Combs said her concerns were

erased when she spoke with

School Librarian Jon Van

Poppelen, “ She told me the

Dollar General Representative

assured her ‘if you aren’t

blown away with this presen-

tation , I will take you to dinner when I come back to

town.’ ” That was enough for Ms. Combs, but no one

could have predicted a $50,000 check. When

asked about how the money would be spent,

Combs said she is working with Van Poppelen and

other staff to integrate technology into the

school’s reading and literacy programs.

Combs said, “it’ll be good for the students

to have that exposure and make those con-


The donation was part of a new program

the company has launched called

“Reading Revolution.” The program is an

effort to provide schools with ad-

ditional resources for books, com-

puters and applications to help

students learn to love reading. It

will be a way of coupling technol-

ogy with literacy that’s hoped to be effective and en-


But that engagement isn’t just about students and lit-

eracy. Dollar General is wanting to

connect with the whole school and

community too. The company is

building a distribution center in the

South Foster Industrial Park that

will employ somewhere between

500 and 1,000 people over the next

year. The company’s thinking was

that it wanted to have an impact not

just economically, but to make a

difference in children and families

in the area. Dollar General Com-

munity Initiatives Director Denine

Torr summed up the gift by saying

“By supporting Hopkins Elemen-

tary School with this gift, we hope

to help students become better

readers, more successful students and lifelong


“...if you aren’t blown away with this

presentation, I will take you to dinner.”

Terry Combs, Hopkins ES Principal

(on DG’s assurance of impact of gift)

Hopkins Principal Terry Combs and Librarian Jon

Van Poppelen are stunned by the $50,000 gift

Dollar General Representatives read to

Hopkins students