Bill Groshans, director of Dollar General Distribution Center in South Boston, presents a $10,000 donation to Francine Davis, principal of Sinai Elementary School, outside the school Thursday morning.

Schools in Halifax County need community support more than ever as they prepare for the 2020-2021 school year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. One community partner, Dollar General Distribution Center in South Boston, has stepped up to provide financial support to a local elementary school.

Bill Groshans, director of Dollar General Distribution Center in South Boston, presented a $10,000 donation to Sinai Elementary School Principal Francine Davis Thursday morning. Davis said Dollar General has had a long-term partnership with the elementary school.

“They are very supportive of Sinai and have been for years. We appreciate them and all they do for Sinai,” Davis said.

She said Dollar General’s donation would be used for “promoting literacy,” providing for the “social, emotional, physical, as well as academic needs of the students,” and supporting the faculty and staff at Sinai Elementary.

“The kids have been out of school for awhile, so they are going to need that additional support,” Davis commented.

Schools in Halifax County have been closed since mid-March. The first day of the 2020-2021 school year for students is Sept. 8, although the decision regarding whether the students will attend classes face-to-face or through distance learning or a combination of both is still up in the air. Lisa Long, Halifax County Public Schools’ director for elementary education, recently presented a plan to the school board, which calls for face-to-face learning for all Pre-K through second-grade and potentially third-grade students. A hybrid schedule has been proposed for fourth and fifth grade students, with two in-class days and three virtual days.

Groshans said Dollar General is glad to be able to help the South Boston community and Sinai Elementary School in a time of need, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have a longstanding relationship with Sinai,” Groshans said. “We’ve helped through monetary donations, and we supply them with school supplies every year, as well.”

Groshans added, “Literacy is very important to Dollar General. It’s definitely something that we pride ourselves on – promoting literacy in the communities that we serve.”

Serving others is part of Dollar General Corporation’s mission, and promoting literacy is part of the company’s community outreach, through the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.

“Literacy is the foundation for improving the quality of life for many Americans,” states the “our community” section of Dollar General Corporation’s mission statement on the company’s website. “Nationwide, more than 40 million adults can’t read well enough to fill out a job application or read a book to their children. Inspired by one of the company’s founders, who had only a third-grade education, Dollar General today helps thousands of individuals take their first steps toward literacy, a general education diploma or English proficiency.”

Miranda Baines is a staff writer for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at

Miranda Baines is a staff writer for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at