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Jumpstart to Honor Pearson’s Bill Barke for Community Service

Published 04-23-08

Submitted by Pearson Foundation

CHICAGO, IL "“ April 23 "“ Bill Barke, CEO of Pearson’s Higher Education Arts & Science Group, will receive the inaugural William Barke Commitment to Excellence Award at Jumpstart's annual "Scribbles to Novels" benefit dinner this evening at Chicago's Harold Washington Library.

Scribbles to Novels celebrates the increasing role Jumpstart plays in supporting early childhood literacy in the Chicago area, bringing together nationally acclaimed authors and leaders from the city's business, civic and philanthropic communities. This year's event is designed to raise money for Jumpstart and to draw attention to the increasing need to help at-risk preschool children excel in school.

Barke has played a key role in bringing the Jumpstart program to Chicago, and to universities and colleges across the country. With his support, Jumpstart has helped more than 1,000 Chicago children enter school prepared to succeed. Nationally, he has been instrumental in developing the Pearson Jumpstart Partnership, which to date has helped more than 140 college graduates begin careers as teachers in disadvantaged communities. Each year, the Pearson Teacher Fellowship provides the opportunity for a select group of achievement-oriented college graduates to enter the early education field by becoming preschool teachers in Head Start and other early learning centers serving at-risk children. In 2006, Barke helped establish Jumpstart's Read for the Record Campaign, which has helped draw national attention to the importance of preparing every child for school, and has raised more than $2,000,000 directly for Jumpstart.

"All of us at Pearson know the commitment Bill brings each day to his work with Jumpstart, and his devotion to improving the fortunes of young people and teachers everywhere," said Marjorie Scardino, chief executive, Pearson. "In every way, Bill's personal commitment to ensuring that every child has an equal opportunity to learn and succeed is a marker for all of us at Pearson."

"It's fitting that we establish the William Barke Commitment to Excellence Award at an event that brings together great writers and great civic leaders," said James Cleveland, President of Jumpstart, the organization that hosts the Scribbles to Novels event. "All of us are grateful to Bill for his outstanding commitment to building strong communities throughout the country, to his service to Jumpstart, and specifically for his work on behalf of preschool children across the United States while a member of the Jumpstart Board of Directors."

About Jumpstart

Jumpstart is a national nonprofit organization that engages preschool children from low-income communities in an intensive early education program to improve their cognitive and emotional development, ensuring they enter kindergarten prepared to succeed at grade level. It accomplishes this by training adult mentors, primarily college students, to work in exclusive yearlong relationships with the children. Jumpstart currently serves more than 13,000 children through a corps of 3,500 college students and older adults. Jumpstart has earned a four-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a recipient of the Fast Company/Monitor Group Social Capitalist Award in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008. For more information, visit

About Pearson

Pearson plc (NYSE: PSO) is an international media company. Its major business operations are: Pearson Education, the world's leading education business, which helps teachers teach and students learn at every stage and in every part of the world; The Financial Times Group, which has an international network of business and financial newspapers and online services that are read by millions of business executives and investors every day; and Penguin Group, which is one of the pre-eminent names in consumer publishing, with an unrivalled range of fiction and non-fiction, bestsellers, and classic titles.
Jumpstart and the Pearson businesses share a passion for education and inspiring people to reach their full potential. These shared goals and values led Jumpstart and Pearson to create the Pearson Teacher Fellowship in 2001. Each year, the Pearson Teacher Fellowship provides the opportunity for a select group of achievement-oriented college graduates to enter the early education field by becoming preschool teachers in Head Start and other early learning centers serving at-risk children. For more information go to

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Pearson Foundation

Pearson Foundation

Pearson (NYSE: PSO) is the global leader in educational publishing, assessment, information and services, helping people of all ages to learn at their own pace, in their own way. For students preK-12, Pearson provides effective and innovative curriculum products in all available media, educational assessment and measurement for students and teachers, student information systems, and teacher professional development and certification programs. Our respected brands include Scott Foresman, Prentice Hall, SuccessMaker, Waterford, AGS, PowerSchool, Chancery SMS, SASI, Pearson Inform, and many others. Our comprehensive offerings help inform targeted instruction and intervention so that success is within reach of every student. Pearson's other primary businesses include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group.

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