July 20, 1992 PRESIDENT + MRS. BUSH: WORKING FOR LITERACY +quot;Literacy opens the door to

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July 20, 1992 PRESIDENT & MRS. BUSH: WORKING FOR LITERACY "Literacy opens the door to the realm of ideas and enables us to enjoy the rewards of lifelong learning... That is why we will continue to reach out to the millions of Americans who remain encumbered by poor literacy skills." President George Bush July 2, 1991 "A literate work force is crucial to the future of our economy. And the future of our children rests on the literacy of their parents who are their first teachers. The future of our democracy depends on an informed literate populace." President George Bush July 25, 1991 Summary o President and Mrs. Bush have been personally involved for years in promoting literacy. They understand that our Nation's future depends on the education of all our people -- education that begins with literacy. o Since 1989, the President has recognized as Daily Points of Light 44 individuals or community groups for their contributions to fighting illiteracy. o The President believes our Nation's schools need to be committed to excellence, providing all children and youths with basic reading and writing skills. Similarly, all adults in and out of the workforce must have opportunities for lifelong learning -- the chance to learn skills they need to compete and succeed as parents, workers, and citizens. o In setting the agenda for education reform, the President and the Nation's Governors agreed that one of the six National Education Goals be to ensure that every adult will be literate by the year 2000. o As part of the President's AMERICA 2000 strategy to meet the education goals, 44 states and over 1,400 communities across America have adopted the President's goals. o President and Mrs. Bush have worked in real and direct ways to speed progress toward this National Goal. The President has supported federal literacy programs that produce results for children while offering their parents opportunities to learn as well. At the President's direction, funding for these family literacy programs has more than quadrupled, while funds for adult literacy programs have nearly doubled. The President's Policy Goal o The President, together with the Nation's Governors, set six National Education Goals. Goal Five states, "By the year 2000, every adult American will be literate and will possess the knowledge and skills necessary to compete in a global economy and exercise the rights and responsibilities of citizenship." This goal emphasizes a strength of commitment to national literacy that has not been voiced in such a direct way by any other President. o The President's goal addresses the fact that anunacceptably high number of American -- estimated by some at 27 million -- have problems with literacy. o A major step toward the goal was to sign into law an historic national commitment to literacy -- the National Literacy Act of 1991. The Act emphasized a strong Federal role of leadership and coordination by creating a National Institute for Literacy. It affects positively every region and State by providing for state literacy resource centers, and includes a National Workforce Literacy Assistance Collaborative for workplace literacy assistance. o By raising awareness of our literacy needs, the President has encouraged new initiatives in all sectors of society -- public and private -- to improve literacy and promote American competitiveness. -- The United Auto Workers and General Motors have begun an "Employee Excellence Development Program" to raise the company's level of competitiveness and address literacy needs in the workplace. -- Organizations such as Performance Plus Learning Consultants provide workplace training for companies like Motorola to ensure employees' literacy and to increase worker efficiency. -- Corporations such as Texaco are making contributions to organizations that improve literacy. -- Most libraries now have literacy training programs for the public. -- The Army has worked with public school systems to increase literacy levels among those in the military. -- The Entergy Corporation of New Orleans has developed an interactive computer system which provides literacy training to adults and adolescents in rural areas. National Literacy Act of 1991 o The National Literacy Act provides a strong framework for building a more literate America, but the results depend on those doing the teaching, training, coordinating, and learning. Literacy organizations, businesses, the military, labor organizations, and our schools all have a direct role in reaching our Nation's literacy goal by establishing networks, providing input, and working together in carrying out programs. o The National Institute for Literacy is instrumental in helping the Nation's businesses become visionary planners, organizers, promoters, innovators, and leaders in the literacy challenge. Funding Commitments o The President has emphasized his commitment to expanding literacy with funding increases for literacy programs each year that he has been in office. The President's proposed funding for literacy programs for Fiscal Year 1993 was $443 million, a 127 percent increase since the beginning of the Bush administration. o Literacy funding as a percentage of total Federal educational funding will have increased by 61 percent from fiscal years 1989 to 1993, if the President's proposal is enacted. o Including the President's 1993 Budget request, funding for adult literacy education will have increased by 83 percent since 1989. This funding supports: -- National Institute for Literacy Research and Demonstrations Program, -- State Grants and National Programs, -- Workplace Literacy, -- Literacy for Homeless Adults, -- State Literacy Resource centers, and -- National Institute for Literacy. o Including the President's 1993 Budget request, funding for family literacy programs including Even Start and Family English Literacy will have increased by 380% since 1989. Other funding is provided to schools and libraries nationwide. o The President's proposed budget for Fiscal Year 1993 includes $90 million for the Even Start family literacy program. First funded under the Bush Administration, Even Start programs now operate in every State. Even Start programs ensure that young at-risk children obtain the skills they need to succeed in school, and that parents improve their educational skills. This increases the opportunity for children to escape poverty or welfare dependency and promotes parental responsibility. Barbara Bush and Literacy o For more than a decade, Mrs. Bush has worked for a more literate America by raising public awareness and encouraging greater support for literacy. Even before entering the White House, she had participated in more than 500 events and trips for literacy. Mrs. Bush has visited schools throughout the country, and has spoken to a wide range of literacy advocates in both public and private service and civic organizations about the need to help. Mrs. Bush also has lent her active support to hundreds of literacy programs and events. The President and Mrs. Bush have participated in two nationally televised National Literacy Honors ceremonies -- recognizing the accomplishments of exemplary students and helpers in literacy initiatives. Mrs. Bush has donated the after-tax royalties from the sale of her two books, C. Fred's Story and Millie's Book, to adult and family literacy efforts. o Most recently, Mrs. Bush has focused heavily on the importance of family literacy and the need for parents to read to their children. She has participated in "Mrs. Bush's Storytime," a radio program designed to encourage family reading. Stories from these programs are currently available on audio cassette. o As a direct result of Mrs. Bush's interest, private donors created the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, which seeks to break the intergenerational cycle of poor literacy and make literacy a value in every American home. Mrs. Bush is the active honorary chair of the Foundation. o The Foundation makes grants to programs that serve the literacy needs of both parents and children. One example is the funding provided to Head Start programs to teach parents to read at the same time that their children begin to learn, and to help parents become involved with their children's school readiness. The Foundation has also produced and distributed thousands of copies of the pamphlet "Barbara Bush's Family Reading Tips," a simple guide for parents to use in creating their own tradition of reading with their children. # # # EXTRA FACTS ON LITERACY o The President and Mrs. Bush have spoken forcefully for greater parental involvement in children's education. Foremost among their concerns is the need for parents to read to their children. As Mrs. Bush has frequently observed, "What parents teach in their house is more important than what happens at the White House". o Mrs. Bush established The Barbara Bush Foundation For Family Literacy in March of 1989. The foundation is halfway to achieving its endowment goal of $25 million. o The Foundation grants $500,000 a year to family literacy projects to support literacy training for children and adults. One example of these grants is funding provided to Head Start programs to teach parents to read at the same time that their children begin to learn so parents can be involved with their children's school readiness. o Close to $1 million in after-tax royalties from sales of Millie's Book, authored by Mrs. Bush, have been given to The Barbara Bush Literacy Foundation. o Mrs. Bush is the active Chair of her foundation, raising funds and coordinating new initiatives. In recognition of her personal commitment to literacy and the real difference she has made in the lives of thousands of Americans, Mrs. Bush serves as the Honorary Chair for virtually every national literacy project nationwide. o Mrs. Bush, through her own literacy foundation, has worked tirelessly to design new literacy initiatives, to extend the reach of existing literacy programs to at-risk children and working adults, and to promote family learning. In addition, Mrs. Bush has devoted nearly $1 million in after-tax royalties from publication of her own book to literacy initiatives.


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