2017 A Celebration of Reading 



Dear Houston Community,

Every year in April we hold a signature event, called A Celebration of Reading, to raise funds to carry forth Mrs. Barbara Bush’s legacy and advance our mission to improve lives through the power of literacy. The event also provides us with an opportunity to raise awareness about the important work we are doing in the Houston community and invite the 1,800 guests to join our important cause. 

Bestselling authors David BrooksBill BrowderSue Grafton, and our surprise guest, President George W. Bush, gave freely of their time to share personal stories, and students from Spring ISD’s Westfield High School gave an incredible performance of Brand New Day from the musical, The Wiz, during the program. We are deeply grateful for their generosity of time and talent. We also appreciate Title Sponsor Phillips 66, Presenting Sponsor Quanex Foundation, and the many other corporate, family and individual donors, whose contributions helped us garner nearly $2.3 million. We are deeply grateful for the outpouring of support. 

An event of this magnitude does not happen without the dedication and expertise of a team of people. Our partners at Dancie Perugini Ware Public RelationsEmpower EventsHobby Center for the Performing ArtsJackson & CompanyRees Media, and Ward and Ames Special Events, as well as the volunteers and Foundation staff, all made this year’s A Celebration of Reading one of the best yet. Thank you all!

Last, but certainly not least, we wish to extend our sincere appreciation to members of the Bush family –First Lady Mrs. Barbara Bush and Foundation Co-Founders Neil and Maria Bush for hosting the event, and grandchildren Lauren Bush LaurenPierce BushLizzie AndrewsAlexander AndrewsClemmie Pierce, and Marshall Bush Rossi for participating in and attending the program.

Check out photos from the event as well as the Barbara Bush Literacy Effect video. Also, please mark your calendars for Thursday, April 19, 2018 and plan to attend the 24th Annual A Celebration of Reading



Julie Baker Finck, Ph.D.,

Author alumni

Stephen Ambrose

Jean Auel

Susan Baker

David Baldacci

Rondé Barber

Tiki Barber

Dave Barry

Ted Bell

Michael Beschloss

Maeve Binchy

Cherie Blair

Eric Blehm

Barbara Taylor Bradford

James Bradley

David Brooks

Bill Browder

Marc Brown

Sandra Brown

Jill Conner Browne

Christopher Buckley

Barbara Bush

George H. W. Bush

George W. Bush

Jeb Bush

Margaret Bush

Donovan Campbell

Stephen Carter

Carol Higgins Clark

Mary Higgins Clark

Bill Clinton

Harlan Coben

Jackie Collins

Robin Cook

Patricia Cornwell

Kelly Corrigan

Michael Crichton

Deborah Crombie

Stanley Crouch 

Li Cunxin

Dominick Dunne

David Eagleman

Richard Paul Evans

David Feherty

Antwone Fisher

Marlin Fitzwater

Fannie Flagg

Karyn Frist

Elizabeth George

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Sue Grafton

Amy Grant

John Grisham

David Halberstam

Tami Hoag

Karen Hughes

Immaculée Ilibagiza

Walter Isaacson

A. J. Jacobs

P. D. James

Dan Jenkins

James Earl Jones

Jan Karon

Mary Karr

Baine Kerr, Jr.

Tracy Kidder

Greg Kincaid

Christina Baker Kline

Dorie Lawson

Jim Lehrer

Robert Ludlum

P.M. John Major

James McBride

Frank McCourt

David McCullough

Reba McEntire   

Larry McMurtry

Jon Meacham

Brad Meltzer

Mary Tyler Moore

Blake Mycoskie

Jim Nantz

Mary Neal

Bob Newhart

Chuck Norris

Susan Orlean

Dianna Ossana

James Patterson

Richard North Patterson

Nathaniel Philbrick

Julia Reed

Al Roker

Arnold Scaasi

Brent Scowcroft

Sidney Sheldon

Anita Shreve

Mark K. Shriver

Hugh Sidey

Daniel Silva

Alan Simpson

Lester Smith

Kathryn Stockett

Jennifer Thompson

Ronald Cotton

Brad Thor

Scott Turow

Ronan Tynan

Andrea White

Lawrence Wright