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Literacy Texas Announces First Executive Director on International Literacy Day
Debbie Johnson

September, 2009



8 September 2009


For Immediate Release

For More Information:

Debbie Johnson 817-422-1644


Literacy Texas Announces First Executive Director on International Literacy Day


September 8, 2009, Fort Worth, Texas.  Literacy Texas, the state literacy coalition, announces Debbie Johnson as their first Executive Director.  The organization was established in 2001 by a group of working volunteers representing community based literacy programs in Texas.  It was formed as a collaborative organization where literacy programs can share resources, training and networking.   Today, Literacy Texas links approximately 300 community based literacy programs that serve over 40,000 people who read below the 8th grade level.

These 40,000 people only represent a small portion of the people with low literacy in Texas.  Literacy programs in Texas are only serving 3.6% of the 3.8 million in need of adult basic education services. (Texas LEARNS, April 2005)  “As the need for literacy programs continues to grow in Texas, it is important for Literacy Texas to grow as well,” said Lester Meriwether, Literacy Texas Board President.  “Johnson has been on our board for three years and spent 20 years at Verizon, most recently working on their philanthropic focus of literacy.  She brings a wealth of knowledge of literacy nationally, marketing, project management and relationships.”  

 On September 8, the nation and the world will celebrate International Literacy Day, a declaration first proclaimed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1965.  UNESCO will use this year’s theme, The Power of Literacy, to highlight the empowering role of literacy and its importance for participation, citizenship and social development.  “When I heard my first adult learner testimony, I was hooked,” said Johnson.  “He was a father who didn’t want his children to know that he couldn’t read – he wanted his kids to do well and be proud of him.  Most of our learners just need a little help, motivation, the right teaching techniques and someone who believes in them to get their GED or prepare them to get a job.  I look forward to helping these adult learners and making Literacy Texas a recognized leader of literacy solutions in the state.”

             Literacy Texas is the statewide literacy coalition for Texas, connecting and equipping literacy programs through resources, training, networking and advocacy.   Our vision is that every literacy organization in Texas will have the resources it needs to help as many people as possible learn basic literacy skills in order to participate fully in society.  If you know someone who needs to improve their literacy skills or you would like to volunteer to tutor, please contact Literacy Texas at or go to our website

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