Creating a culture of reading success across our city is possible, and I am more confident than ever that it is within our reach. Why am I a believer, you might ask? I'm convinced that we will solve the literacy crisis in our city because more and more Houstonians are stepping up to play a role in making it happen and are joining a movement to stomp out illiteracy.
As an example, just last month our newly-formed Ladies for Literacy Guild held a sold-out, inaugural Power of Literacy luncheon during which a new initiative was unveiled, the Curiosity Cruiser, and more than 75 women became new members of the guild. Now nearly 200 members strong and growing, the Ladies for Literacy Guild will be a positive force, building awareness and creating capacity for change.
In addition, we joined the Houston Public Library and several other organizations, including our Young Professionals Group, in kicking off Groomed for Literacy, an initiative to place Little Free Libraries in barber shops across our city so that boys can have access to books to read and barbers can become their reading mentors. Everyone can do something to help create a culture of reading, and we are so grateful that barbers in low-income communities have committed to this effort.
School districts, library systems, child care providers, elected officials, city government agencies, nonprofits, corporations, health and medical providers and faith organizations are all recognizing that they can be a part of the solution to Houston’s literacy crisis and are taking action. It is humbling to see so many individuals and groups supporting the literacy cause.
Barbara Bush believes, “Everyone can do something.” Find your "something" with us. Whether through your company, a civic or faith group, or as a family or individual, we need you to help create a culture of reading to lift literacy rates. Be a point of light for others to follow and make a difference through service to others.
I look forward to partnering with you to change lives and empower families.
Julie Baker Finck, Ph.D.