Katie Bispeck is a Registered Dietitian at MD Anderson Cancer Center who has always loved reading, especially with her parents each night before bed. She is aware that there is a literacy issue here in Houston and while there are many factors that contribute to it, she believes parental involvement to be the largest contributing factor. “Most parents are working long hours, and in some cases, more than one job, which makes them unavailable to be a support to their children's education. A lot of families are single-parent households, and with multiple children in a home, this can strain the parents’ ability to be supportive even further.” When asked what steps should be made to get parents more involved with teaching their children how to read, Kate feels that awareness is the first step. “Making parents aware of the issue and the important role that they play in their child future will help motivate them to become more involved.” It was clear when speaking with Katie that she is grateful for her ability to read. “I know that I would not be where I am today without a love of reading and learning. I was able to achieve a master’s degree in public health, work in a world renowned medical center, and provide medical and nutritional care to patients because I learned to read and enjoyed learning. If I didn't have the support I did, I may not have made it to the career I have today.”
Katie has become a member of the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation Young Professionals Group in hopes that she can help provide support to the community to improve Houston's literacy rate.