2005 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Tollison, Browning, Burton, Butler, Carmichael, Chaney, Clarke, Dearing, Frazier, Gollott, Harvey, Hewes, Hyde-Smith, Jackson (32nd), Jordan, King, Kirby, Lee (35th), Little, Mettetal, Morgan, Pickering, Posey, Ross, Thomas, Walls, White

Senate Concurrent Resolution 585

(As Adopted by Senate and House)


     WHEREAS, Mississippi native Jim Barksdale and his late wife, Mississippi native Sally Barksdale, established the Barksdale Reading Institute in January 2000, with an endowment of $100 Million; and

     WHEREAS, this endowment, which is the largest private investment in literacy in the nation's history, is designed to improve the reading scores of Mississippi's public school children before they leave the third grade; and

     WHEREAS, a highly successful businessman, having served as Chief Operating Officer of FedEx Corporation, Chief Executive Officer of AT&T Wireless Corporation, and Chief Executive Officer of Netscape Communications, Jim Barksdale, who received his B.A. degree in Business Administration from the University of Mississippi, currently serves on the boards of several major companies across the country, including FedEx, Time Warner, Mayo Clinic and Sun Microsystems; and

     WHEREAS, after witnessing the successes of reading reform programs in Texas and the "Success for All" programs in Baltimore, Maryland, the Barksdales became convinced that such programs could have a meaningful impact on the reading skills of children nationwide; and

     WHEREAS, a joint venture with the University of Mississippi School of Education, the Mississippi Department of Education and the state's seven other public university schools of education, the institute is designed to dramatically improve the reading skills of children through a systematic and direct implementation of a research-based reading reform model; and

     WHEREAS, recognizing that every child needs to be able to read proficiently to be both an economically and socially productive member of society, the Barksdales' gift has made it possible for Mississippi's public schools, colleges and universities to come together to implement systematic reform in teaching schoolchildren to read; and

     WHEREAS, because of the visionary efforts of Jim and Sally, the Barksdale Reading Institute currently works in 70 schools around the state and, since its inception, has worked with over 50,000 children, some 3,000 teachers in Mississippi, and has expended over $30 Million on teacher training, provision of tutors, books and other materials, parent outreach, prekindergarten efforts, after-school programs, literacy research and other literacy-related efforts; and

     WHEREAS, it is with great pride that we recognize this information mogul and philanthropist whose impeccable desire for educational achievement has garnered him great distinction as the Literacy Ambassador for the State of Mississippi:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend the valuable contributions of Jim Barksdale and the Barksdale Reading Institute to the State of Mississippi and extend our wishes for continued future success.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to Jim Barksdale, the Barksdale Reading Institute, and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.