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'''Jeannie P. Baliles''' founded the [[Virginia Literacy Foundation]], which was incorporated in 1987. Former wife of [[Gerald L. Baliles]], the 65th [[Governor of Virginia]], she served as First Lady of Virginia from 1986 to 1990.
Jeannie McPherson Patterson Baliles was born in North Carolina and raised near Baltimore. She took her undergraduate and graduate degrees in history from [[Washington College]] (1962), and taught history until the birth of her first child. Ms. Baliles went on to earn a M.A.T. in history from [[Wesleyan University]]. She was inducted into the Delta Kappa Gamma honor society (education). She is the founder and chairman of the Virginia Literary Foundation and served as the Chairman of the [[Virginia Opera]]. She has served as a trustee on the Virginia Environmental Endowment, the Community Foundation of Central Virginia, and the Jenkins Foundation. She has also served on the board of [[Wolf Trap]], the [[Nature Conservancy]], the Jamestown-Yorktown Trust, [[YMCA]], the [[Historic Richmond Foundation]], and served on the Board of Trustee's of [[Virginia Union University]].<ref>http://1962.washcoll.edu/jeanniepattersonbaliles/ Washington College: Jeannie Patterson Baliles</ref> Ms. Baliles, who was divorced from Governor Baliles in 1996, has two children from the marriage, Laura and Jonathan.
==Founder of the Virginia Literacy Foundation==
When Jeannie Baliles became First Lady of Virginia in 1986, she immediately named fighting adult [[illiteracy]] as a major societal issue that needed to be addressed. In 1987, she oversaw the founding of the Virginia Literacy Foundation (VLF) and has served as its chair ever since. Under her leadership, the VLF donated over $3.4 million in matching grants to grass roots literacy organizations that taught literacy skills to adults who read at or below basic literacy levels. Ms. Baliles was also instrumental in creating a public-private partnership that would oversee and prevent overlapping services among all community-based literacy organizations throughout the state. During her tenure as the nation's First Lady, [[Barbara Bush]] had publicized the plight of the millions of adults in America with low literacy skills, and had influenced the formation of many new grass roots adult literacy programs in the nation, and influential people like Jeannie Baliles. On page 330 of her 1995 ''Memoir'', Mrs. Bush wrote about Ms. Baliles, "She is a ball of fire and has done a real job in her state and has shown real leadership in the field." <ref>http://books.google.com/books?id=37pwwfYDP6gC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_v2_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q=&f=false ''Barbara Bush: A Memoir''</ref> The Foundation also partnered with the State Department of Education in the Virginia Literacy Initiative to encourage the spread of family and workplace literacy programs in the commonwealth. During the
*[http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1298&dat=19860311&id=exsQAAAAIBAJ&sjid=mosDAAAAIBAJ&pg=2655,3699817 First Lady's First Visit]
*[http://video.aol.co.uk/video-detail/jeannie-baliles-honorary-chairperson-of-minds-wide-open/1359625338 Jeannie P. Baliles Video: Minds Wide Open - Women in the Arts, 2010]