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Join Us in Voices for Literacy

Liza McFadden with Dr. Condoleezza Rice at the 2016 ASU/GSV Summit

Don’t you just love those moments of total “YES!?” How about an “AMEN!?”

As literacy lovers celebrate our favorite month of the year—National Literacy Month—I thought I’d share a few shout-outs to those who are inspiring this work through the new Voices for Literacy campaign. We believe that in order to drive innovation and increase workforce and literacy skills, there must be integration and collaboration with universities, investors, businesses and the American people. Together.

Through Voices for Literacy, we at the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy will launch a national digital media campaign with the intent to raise the voices of all those eager and willing to speak out about literacy. This idea of raising the conversation was generated by a brief but powerful meeting at the phenomenal ASU/GSV ed-tech summit this past spring in California. I had an opportunity to brief Dr. Condoleezza Rice, the nation’s 66th Secretary of State, on our Adult Literacy XPRIZE competition, in which 109 teams are now racing to win $7 million dollars by creating mobile literacy learning applications for adults. What followed that meeting was an AMEN moment when Dr. Rice went on stage and reiterated our message to an audience of nearly 1,000 tech leaders that education as a civil right must include access for both children and adults.

Since then we’ve been assiduously seeking partners whose voices will raise the bar on this conversation. This week I’m proud to announce one of our first formal partners, 1776, the global incubator and seed fund helping startups transform industries. 1776 Managing Director Rusty Greiff (who provides an overview of 1776 in the short video below) is creating a new Coalition for the Future of Learning and Work. We at the Barbara Bush Foundation join a lineup that is traditionally corporate and tech-heavy. Think DELL, Comcast, and Esri. We believe if we more closely live and breathe the startup world, we’ll not only be in association with those who can provide guidance to startups racing to develop apps for adult literacy, but we’ll simultaneously be building an ecosphere where such startups can sustain, scale, and succeed. And we will also learn lessons from this effort that will be beneficial to the small, family literacy nonprofits we support.



“The essence of America – that which really unites us – is not ethnicity, or nationality or religion – it is an idea – and what an idea it is: That you can come from humble circumstances and do great things.”

That’s a stick-on-your-fridge quote from Dr. Rice to keep in mind, and share, during National Literacy Month. In other words, for every mom or dad that we enable to land a better job, and help their child with school, we’ve aided someone in achieving a very great thing. And those small “great things” add up to a better life.

If you’d like to be a part of our Voices for Literacy effort, visit barbarabush.org/get-involved to sign up to receive updates from us, or email me suggestions at liza.mcfadden@barbarabush.org.

Get in Touch

You may also contact us by phone at 850.562.5300 or by mail at:
Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy
516 North Adams Street • Tallahassee, Florida 32301