Aspenites make big contribution |

Aspenites make big contribution

Aspen Times Staff Report

Two Aspenites will appear on “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” this afternoon to discuss a $100 million charitable gift they made to promote reading and literacy in their home state of Mississippi.

Sally and Jim Barksdale bestowed the monies to establish an institute at the University of Mississippi that will finance a variety of reading programs for children in the Magnolia State, which has one of the nation’s lowest literacy rates.

The gift will also provide intensive training in reading education for current and aspiring elementary schoolteachers, and enable elementary schools to purchase books, software and other educational materials.

Jim Barksdale is the former president of the Netscape Communications Corp., a leading Internet software company.

The New York City-based Rosie O’Donnell Show airs on CBS (channel 4 on cable throughout the valley) at 3 p.m. today.

Other guests on today’s program include actor Matthew McConaughey, who stars in the upcoming film “U-571,” and actress Cherry Jones, of “A Moon for the Misbegotten.”

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