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Barbara Bush Praised for Crusade Against Illiteracy

November 16, 1988

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Barbara Bush won the praise of her husband and others at the first social event attended by the president-elect and his wife, for her campaign against illiteracy.

Mrs. Bush was honored Tuesday night at The National Literacy Honors dinner, receiving an engraved writing stand and a gold medallion. Eighteen adults who have overcome their own struggles with illiteracy as part of the ″Project Literacy U.S.″ (PLUS) campaign also received prizes.

The PLUS drive was launched three years ago by the ABC and PBS television networks.

Bush said that with his wife freed from campaigning full-time for his election, ″Now it’s back to her true love, which is literacy.″

Singers Pearl Bailey and Loretta Lynn and Sherrill Milnes of the Metropolitan Opera joined actor Dennis Weaver, the U.S. Naval Academy Glee Club and others in a performance that left Mrs. Bush saying, ″I really am overwhelmed.″

Mrs. Bush said the 1,200 people attending the black-tie dinner were ″shining examples of the thousand points of light we’ve all been hearing so much about lately.″

The fight against illiteracy signals ″an enormous collective willingness of the heart,″ she said.

″I did talk, as Barbara said, about a thousand points of light during the campaign,″ Bush said. ″One wag said, ‘If he meant a thousand pints of Lite, I’m for it.’

″But that’s not what I meant,″ the president-elect said. ″You’re it ... all of you in this room, all of the literacy programs represented by all of you, all the dedication, all the determination to help someone else.″

″Barbara Bush’s drive and commitment is highlighted tonight, but it’s simply one of the thousand points of light,″ he said.

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