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Our Funders

Reading Universe is made possible by the generous support of Jim & Donna Barksdale, the American Federation of Teachers, the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, and three anonymous donors.

Jim and Donna Barksdale

Jim and Donna Barksdale have made an unwavering commitment to promoting literacy in their home state of Mississippi and across the United States. Through their work with the Barksdale Reading Institute, they have been instrumental in sparking the dramatic improvement in reading scores in Mississippi. By investing in evidence-based programs, professional development for educators, and community outreach, the Barksdale Reading Institute has had a profound impact on the lives of students, teachers, and families throughout the state. Their dedication to advancing literacy has set a powerful example for fostering educational equity and empowering children with the tools to succeed in school and in their lives.

Smiling Jim and Donna Barksdale


The AFT is a union of professionals that champions fairness; democracy; economic opportunity; and high-quality public education, healthcare and public services for our students, their families and our communities. We are committed to advancing these principles through community engagement, organizing, collective bargaining and political activism, and especially through the work our members do.

AFT Education Healthcare Public Services

Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation

The Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation seeks and funds innovative projects that advance solutions to basic and enduring problems. With an overall emphasis on education, principally in the United States, it takes an active role in three major areas: Art, Environment, and Learning Differences.

The Foundation’s efforts reflect the entrepreneurial spirit of their family forbearers and the founder’s distinction for foresight, imagination and risk taking. They pursue their mission so that the Foundation also engenders family unity, equality, and mutual respect, and serves to educate family members in philanthropy, service and stewardship.


Anonymous Funders

We are grateful for the generous support of three anonymous donors.

Support Reading Universe

Make a donation to help educators teach reading and writing more effectively in the classroom.

Reading Universe is made possible by generous support from Jim & Donna Barksdale, the AFT, the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, and three anonymous donors.

AFT Education Healthcare Public Services