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ProLiteracy Expresses Sympathy for Tucson Tragedy Victims, Families, and Community

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ProLiteracy Expresses Sympathy for Tucson Tragedy Victims, Families, and Community

Statement from President and CEO David C. Harvey

ProLiteracy and its member organizations throughout the U.S. extend their deepest sympathies to all those affected by the tragic event that took place in Tucson, Arizona on January 8.

The tragedy hit the ProLiteracy family close to home. United States Representative Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) is a staunch ally of the adult literacy field, signing on as one of the first Members of Congress to join the newly formed House Adult Literacy Caucus. Deborah Tinajero, coordinator of the Pima County Adult Probation LEARN program in Tuscon, a ProLiteracy member program, reports that Congresswoman Giffords takes time each year to write individual letters of congratulations to each GED graduate. "I know of no other public figure who has taken time to do this—it's the kind of person she is," says Deborah.

Gabe Zimmerman, 30, an aide to Congresswoman Giffords who died in the incident, worked in 2009 with the PIMA County Adult Education office to restore family literacy funding—a major victory, reports Betty Stauffer, executive director of Literacy Volunteers of Tucson, another ProLiteracy member program. "Gabe also personally helped one of our students resolve a Medicare problem. He was well known and very engaged with our adult learner community," says Betty. She adds, "I pray Gabby will be back on the House floor working hard for our community very soon, just as she has in the past."

We at ProLiteracy wish Congresswoman Giffords and the other survivors of Saturday's event a speedy recovery. Our thoughts and prayers are also with the families of those who died as a result of this senseless act of violence.

In this Associated Press photo, mourners and supporters gather
near a memorial in front of the University Medical Center in Tucson.


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