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Barbara Bush to Deliver Keynote Address at United States Conference on Adult Literacy


Barbara Bush to Deliver Keynote Address at United States Conference on Adult Literacy

July 21, 2011, Syracuse, N.Y. and Washington, D.C.—David C. Harvey, ProLiteracy president and CEO, announced today that former U.S. first lady Barbara Bush will deliver the keynote address at the inaugural United States Conference on Adult Literacy (USCAL) in Houston, Texas, on November 3.

“Barbara Bush truly is the ‘first lady of literacy,’ and we are honored that she has agreed to join us for USCAL,” Harvey stated.

USCAL, a conference for the adult education and literacy-related field, has 26 national partner organizations working together to address the adult literacy crisis in America and around the world. The conference theme, “New Challenges, Powerful Solutions,” will address how traditional and nontraditional national, regional, and local educational organizations can join forces to inspire change.

Barbara Bush was first lady from 1988 to 1992. In 1989, she established the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, which has awarded more than $40 million in grants. She believes that many of our nation’s problems could be solved if every man, woman, and child could read, write, and comprehend. A tireless advocate of volunteerism, Mrs. Bush has helped countless charities and humanitarian causes during her years in public life, including organizations that train adult literacy volunteers.

Mrs. Bush has a long track record of working with ProLiteracy’s predecessor groups, Literacy Volunteers of America and Laubach Literacy. In addition, President George W. Bush awarded the 2006 Presidential Medal of Freedom to Ruth Colvin, founder of Literacy Volunteers of America. Mrs. Colvin will introduce Mrs. Bush at USCAL, and Dr. Bob Laubach will make a special presentation to Mrs. Bush on behalf of ProLiteracy.

“There is no more esteemed person in the United States to sound a historic note about literacy in America than Barbara Bush,” said Harvey.“The USCAL attendees will be thrilled that Mrs. Bush will deliver this inaugural keynote address.”


ProLiteracy champions the power of literacy to improve the lives of adults and their families, communities, and societies. ProLiteracy has 1,000 member programs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. For more information, visit

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