Submitted by USA Education Inc
Sallie Mae (NYSE: SLM) today
announced that delegates participating in its "Campaign for Literacy" during
the Democratic National Convention donated more than 1,000 children's books to
benefit literacy programs in Los Angeles.
The books will be used by local elementary and secondary schools, as well
as the Hope Street Family Center, which works with deserving families and
their children in downtown Los Angeles to encourage self-sufficiency and
An official book donation ceremony was held last week at the Hope Street
Family Center, where Sallie Mae's Executive Vice President Paul Carey was
joined by several distinguished guests. They included Edward M. Kennedy, U.S.
Senator of Massachusetts; Rob Reiner, actor, director and children's advocate;
Richard Riley, U.S. Secretary of Education; Sharon Davis, the First Lady of
California; and Melinda Beswick, president of the California Hospital Medical
Center, the parent organization of the Hope Street Family Center.
The guest speakers addressed the importance of improving the quality of
early learning and school readiness programs for children, and cited the Hope
Street Family Center as an ideal example of what is needed by so many of
"We thank each of our guests for their unwavering commitment to literacy
and to improving the lives of the people of Los Angeles and America," said
Paul Carey of Sallie Mae. "We hope that our collective efforts will further
the national dialogue on the need for improving family literacy."
Following the formal remarks, Sen. Kennedy, Rob Reiner and Sharon Davis
read books aloud to the children attending the event. Sen. Kennedy also
distributed copies of President John F. Kennedy's favorite childhood book,
nation's leading provider of financial services for postsecondary education
and the country's largest provider of funding for education loans. The company
currently owns or manages loans for 5.3 million borrowers and also provides
parents, students and educators with comprehensive information on the
financial aid process. Since 1990, Sallie Mae has been a leading sponsor of
Reading is Fundamental (RIF), the oldest and largest literacy organization in
the country. RIF promotes literacy by helping children discover the joy of
books. Sallie Mae purchases books and nameplates for local school districts,
and employees donate their time to distribute and read the books to children.
The Hope Street Family Center was founded in 1992 with a grant from the
federal Head Start Bureau as part of a national effort to develop more
effective ways to encourage family self-sufficiency and educational
achievement. Today, the center serves the needs of 120 low-income families in
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