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Barksdale Funds Literacy Program

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[Originally published on Tuesday, June 14, 2005]

CNN has a nice report on the positive impact the Barksdale Reading Institute is having in Mississippi. Founded by former Netscape CEO Jim Barksdale, the organization endeavors to improve the “preliteracy” skills for preschoolers and reading for children in kindergarten through the third grade. The institute provides books and teacher training for some of the state’s neediest and lowest-performing schools.

The article focuses on Nailor Elementary in the Mississippi Delta town of Cleveland where ninety-nine percent of students receive free or reduced lunches and who do not normally see adults reading at home. These students often start school with no concept of what the letters of the alphabet look or sound like.

No smarmy blog jokes here. No smart ass comments or attempts at wit and humor. This organization is doing good work, having a tangible impact in one of the most impoverished areas in the country. And Barksdale’s investment? $100 million.

Read the CNN article here.