GEORGE & BARBARA BUSH FAMILY PLACES
It is indisputable that what happens during the earliest years of life, when the brain architecture develops most rapidly, is critical to a child’s healthy development and long-term success. Because 90% of brain development occurs by age 5, parents and caregivers play a vital role in serving as a child’s first and most important teacher. Barbara Bush recognized this fact decades ago when she chose literacy as her cause and placed the it on the forefront of our nation’s most pressing issues.
Mrs. Bush notably promoted family literacy programs in which parents and children learn and achieve together. Unfortunately, Houston lacks a comprehensive system for educating, equipping and supporting families with the knowledge, skills and resources needed to ensure their child has an early and great start before entering kindergarten. While family literacy programs do exist, oftentimes families encounter barriers to access them or programs are inadequately funded to meet the requisite needs of our diverse and vast city.
For these reasons and others, the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation has partnered with Phillips 66 to invest in the transformation of areas within our public library systems into dynamic centers filled with appropriate resources for families to stimulate learning with their child from birth to age 5 following the national Family Place Libraries™ model. Through this highly-effective model, library staff receive specialized training and become equipped to expand programs specifically for toddlers and their parents. In addition, the specially-designed spaces feature interactive materials, early literacy kits, games, toys, music and multimedia resources, learning stations, and of course, books. Parents have access to workshops during which library staff model effective practices with families and learn how to use the resources to accelerate their child’s early learning and development.
George & Barbara Bush Family Places are located in the following Harris County Public Libraries:
Barbara Bush Branch Library
Jacinto City Branch Library
Octavia Fields Branch Library
Parker Williams Branch Library
Clear Lake City-County Freeman Branch Library
High Meadows Branch Library
LSC - Tomball Community Library
Maud Marks Branch Library
We are proud to join Phillips 66 to advance Mrs. Bush’s vision of literacy for all by partnering with public libraries to serve as focal points in neighborhoods across our city to better serve our city’s youngest and most vulnerable children and their families.