Houston Coalition Vies for XPRIZE

We are excited to share that a coalition of literacy partner agencies, including EastSide University, Memorial Assistance Ministries, Literacy Advance and Community Family Centers, were selected to compete nationally for funds to increase adult literacy rates through the XPRIZE Communities Competition hosted by the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. In the Communities Competition, a total of $1 million will be awarded, with $500,000 available for community coalitions who submit the most innovative, feasible and scalable plans, and $500,000 for community coalitions who recruit the most adult learners to download and consistently use a smartphone-based app to improve learner's confidence, independence and agency in English, reading, and digital literacy. The smartphone-based apps were selected through a national competition as part of the multi-year XPRIZE competition. Over the next few months, the Houston community coalition will be seeking out adults aspiring to learn English and how to read to download and use the app.

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Launched on former first lady Barbara Bush’s 90th birthday in 2015, the $7M Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE presented by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation challenges teams to develop mobile applications for smartphones that increase literacy skills among participating adult learners. With research showing that 77 percent of Americans now own a smartphone, the competition aims to dramatically change the way the United States meets the needs of the 36 million adults with low literacy skills, by tackling the largest obstacles to achieving basic literacy – access, retention and scale.

Ladies for Literacy Team Up with Houston Rockets Women's Organization and Reliant on Book Drive and Giveaway

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The 3rd annual, month-long Community Book Drive hosted by the Ladies for Literacy Guild culminated with a special event at the Toyota Center benefiting more than 30 area nonprofits. Thanks to support from Reliant, the Houston Rockets Women’s Organization and the greater Houston community, the Guild collected thousands of books to stock the Curiosity Cruiser mobile library and fuel local literacy programs. 

First of Eight George & Barbara Bush Family Place Opens

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The Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation and the Harris County Public Library revealed the first George & Barbara Bush Family Place at the Barbara Bush Branch Library in March, the first of eight to open in the Houston area. Last summer, the Foundation announced a $200,000 donation in tribute to former First Lady Barbara Bush. The funds, provided in partnership with Phillips 66, were earmarked to transform areas within eight county libraries into community centers for literacy by creating robust early childhood spaces for families to play and stimulate learning based on a national model, called Family Place Libraries™.

Volunteers Recognized for Incredible Community Service

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Read Houston Read and Real Men Read volunteers gathered at Children’s Museum of Houston on April 23 for an appreciation breakfast and ceremony. Nearly 400 volunteers were recognized for their commitment to helping HISD students improve their literacy skills.

 Through Read Houston Read, and Real Men Read, volunteers read to first and second graders at least once per week throughout the school year – either through TutorMate online or in person at a school.

My Home Library Ramps up to Serve More Children

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Approximately 340 volunteers participated in My Home Library’s Big Awesome Book Sort April 4-6. Volunteer groups from AT&T, Cresa, JLL, Citgo, Marathon Oil, Burns & McDonnell, and the Houston Astros Foundation contributed to the nearly 1,100 hours of service. Home libraries were stocked for more than 6,200 students, equating to more than 37,000 brand new books at 12 Houston-area schools. We are so grateful to all the volunteers and would especially like to thank Region 4 Education Service Center for hosting the event for the fifth time.

By the end of this month, more than 50,000 children will have received home libraries through the My Home Library program since its inception in 2017 thanks to our program sponsors and donors like you!

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First Lady's Book Club Hosts Texas Author

The First Lady's Book Club of the Ladies for Literacy Guild welcomed author Elizabeth Crook at their most recent gathering of more than 80 members.

Crook, a native Texan, wrote The Which Way Tree. Crook discussed her inspiration for the book, answered questions, and signed copies of her novel for First Lady's Book Club members.

 

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The First Lady's Book Club is open to all

Ladies for Literacy Guild members.

Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton to Headline Fourth Annual Power of Literacy Luncheon

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Oscar-Winning Actress, Singer And Author, Along With Co-Author Daughter, To Share Stories And Experiences

Friday, October 25, 2019
11:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Post Oak Hotel At Uptown

The Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation’s Ladies for Literacy Guild is excited to announce that Oscar-winning actress, singer and author, Julie Andrews, will be featured along with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, at the fourth annual Power of Literacy Luncheon. Chaired by Lilly Andress and Vicki West, Andrews and Hamilton will participate in a moderated conversation as part of the program. The event will take place Friday, October 25 at The Post Oak Hotel at Uptown, shining light on the cause former First Lady Barbara Bush championed for nearly 30 years – literacy.

Andrews’ fame spans generations, known for her roles as Mary Poppins and Maria von Trapp in the iconic film The Sound of Music, to The Princess Diaries and the voices of Queen Lillian’ in the Shrek movies and Marlene, Gru’s mum in the ‘Despicable Me’ and ‘Minion’ frachises. Not only is she an award-winning actress, but she and her daughter, Emma, are international best-selling authors and Grammy winners for “the spoken word’ category.  The mother-daughter duo has co-authored more than thirty children’s books, many of which have topped the New York Times best-seller list.  Their latest franchise of books together, The Very Fairy Princess, is a 12-book series. The first book rose to No.1 on the New York Times Children’s Best Seller list.  Andrews will release the second installment of her biography written with Hamilton, called Home Work - A Memoir of My Hollywood Years, on October 15.  The book is a follow-up to her critically acclaimed and bestselling memoir, Home - A Memoir of My Early Years, and picks up her story with her arrival in Hollywood, sharing the career highlights, personal experiences, and reflections behind career.

“Emma and I are pleased to join the Foundation at this spectacular event as part of my world book tour,” said Julie Andrews. “Reading and writing has played a significant part in both my professional career and my personal life for many, many years. Through our writings and stories, Emma and I strive to not only entertain readers, but also to inspire them to dream big in life.”

Since inception, the Ladies for Literacy Guild has raised nearly $1 million through the Power of Literacy Luncheons to fund local literacy initiatives including the 30-foot Curiosity Cruiser mobile library, the creation of children’s libraries in the New Hope Housing – Reed and Mission of Yahweh shelter, as well as family literacy programs at Santa Maria Hostel. The Ladies for Literacy Guild is currently upfitting a second Curiosity Cruiser to serve low income children across Harris County.

A CELEBRATION OF READING

$2.2 Million Raised at 25th Annual
A Celebration of Reading

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Thank you for helping to make the 25th Annual A Celebration of Reading an incredible success, raising more than $2.2 million to advance the literacy cause through the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy and the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation. This year’s outstanding lineup of bestselling authors included Dr. David Eagleman, Ellie LeBlond Sosa, Susan Page, James Patterson and Gary Sinise.

Corporate Advisory Council Launched

Engaging the community has been the bedrock to our success. That is why we are pleased to announce the formation of a Corporate Advisory Council to advance and accelerate our mission. The purpose of the Advisory Council is to work with the Foundation to provide thought leadership on the execution of strategies in our strategic plan, provide expertise to advance, accelerate, and build capacity for key programs through innovative solutions, promising or proven practices, and a leveraged network of known available resources; and advocate the literacy mission and positively promote the Foundation’s public standing.

We are deeply grateful that leaders from the following companies have made a two-year commitment to lend their time and talent to our important cause: AT&T, Cheniere Energy, Comcast, Deloitte, Entercom, HCA Healthcare West Houston, Houston Astros, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Marathon Oil, PNC, PwC, Reliant, StalwartMC, Stavis & Cohen Financial Services and Stewart.