Jeannie Baliles: Difference between revisions

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 1980s, this model was unprecedented in the nation. Each year the Jeannie P. Baliles Awards recognized the outstanding contributions of students, volunteers and program staff of Virginia's literacy organizations. In 1989, the Virginia Press Women voted Jeannie P. Baliles the Newsmaker of the Year as first lady of Virginia and leader in literacy programs.<ref>http://www.virginialiteracy.org/about/jeannie.html Virginia Literacy Foundation: Biography</ref>
 
==Public/Private Partnerships==
The VLF was among the first literacy foundations to establish a public/private partnership. In 1987, the Foundation was instrumental in establishing the Virginia Literacy Initiative, a public/private partnership between the VLF and the State Adult Literacy Committee.<ref>{{cite web|title=Short history and timeline of the Virginia Literacy Foundation|url=http://www.virginialiteracy.org/about/index.php|accessdate=8/10/11}}</ref>
 
In 2003, the VLF partnered with [[Virginia Commonwealth University]]'s School of Education and Center for Public Policy to establish [http://www.theliteracyinstitute.org/ The Literacy Institute] at Virginia Commonwealth University. The Literacy Institute was instrumental in receiving the first Early Reading First grant for the state of Virginia.<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.redorbit.com/news/education/311192/as_vlf_reaches_20th_anniversary_improvement_remains_focus/index.html|work=As Vlf Reaches 20th Anniversary, Improvement Remains Focus|accessdate=8/10/11}}</ref>
 
==External links==
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