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THE FIRST LADY TO RECEIVE LITERACY AWARD AT NATIONAL ITALIAN AMERICAN FOUNDATION LUNCHEON

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:   Elissa Ruffino (NIAF) 202/939-3106 or elissa@niaf.org


(WASHINGTON, D.C. -- October 8, 2007) Mrs. Laura Bush will give the keynote address at the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) luncheon on Friday, October 12, 2007 at the Hilton Washington & Towers in Washington, D.C. The First Lady will also receive the Foundation’s Special Achievement Award in Literacy in recognition of her efforts to help America’s youth. NIAF Chairman Dr. A. Kenneth Ciongoli will present the award to Mrs. Bush during the event, which will be held in the hotel’s International Ballroom West from noon to 2:30 p.m. Mrs. Bush will be joined by prominent Italian American women in business, education, and entertainment.

Mrs. Bush will receive the same award given to former First Lady Barbara Bush by the organization in 1991.

As a former public school teacher and librarian, Mrs. Bush has emphasized reading as the foundation of all learning. One of her favorite projects is to help recruit qualified teachers, and inform parents and caregivers about the best ways to prepare children to read. Mrs. Bush’s priority is that every child starting school has the skills necessary to learn. She also has promoted several alternative teacher recruitment programs including Troops to Teachers, The New Teacher Project, and Teach for America.

Those members of the press interested in attending the event must fax his or her name (as it appears on his or her driver's license), Social Security number and date of birth on company letterhead to (202) 205-2412 no later than 12:00 pm on Thursday, October 11, 2007. For additional credentialing or logistical questions, please contact Katy Ballenger Mitarai at (202) 258-5953. For all other questions, please contact Mrs. Bush’s Press Office at (202) 456-6313.

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., and dedicated to preserving the heritage of Italian Americans. Visit www.niaf.org





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