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For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
September 15, 2006

Mrs. Bush Announces the Launch of the White House Conference on Global Literacy's Website
Washington, DC

Today, Mrs. Laura Bush announced the launch of the White House Conference on Global Literacy website, The website hosts information on the first-ever White House Conference on Global Literacy to be held in New York City on September 18, 2006.

The White House Conference on Global Literacy came about as a result of Mrs. Bush's visits to many countries around the world where she witnessed the power of literacy to improve lives, especially for women and girls. The Conference will help other First Ladies, First Spouses, Ministers of Education, and national decision-makers from all over the world to implement successful literacy programs in their countries.

The website highlights nine literacy programs that will be featured at the Conference. Each program is easily replicable and is helping to eradicate illiteracy around the world. Following the event, the website will host videos of conference presentations. In addition, the site features links to Conference news and speeches, photo galleries and conference-partner websites. The website text and videos are in four languages: English, French, Spanish, and Arabic.

The Conference will showcase initiatives now being used in transitioning and developing countries with high illiteracy rates, including some of the work that the U.S. government, the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and private/local entities have supported around the world. Panels and informal discussions will focus on three vital areas of literacy: Mother-Child Literacy and Intergenerational Learning ensures that as mothers - our first teachers - learn to read, they can impart those skills to their children, beginning a cycle of literacy that continues from one generation to the next. Literacy for Health ensures that adults can make informed, wise decisions to protect the health of their families. And Literacy for Economic Self-Sufficiency ensures that adults, especially women, can learn basic business skills that generate income, foster independence, and boost local economies.

For more information, please visit

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