Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation (the Foundation) is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, charitable organization created by the Bush family to improve the quality of lives through the power of literacy. The Foundation advocates for literacy as a fundamental right for everyone and views literacy as a necessary skill to achieve individual, family, and community success. It is founded on the belief held by former First Lady Barbara Bush: “If you help a person to read, then their opportunities in life will be endless.”

our history

In 2013, Barbara Bush’s son, Neil, and his wife, Maria, formed the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation to advance Mrs. Bush’s literacy legacy, a wholly separate nonprofit from the national Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. Established in response to the literacy crisis in the nation’s most diverse and fourth largest city, the Foundation focuses deeply on increasing awareness and literacy services and support in the Bush family’s hometown.

Our Mission

Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation aims to improve lives through the power of literacy.


Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation envisions a thriving city where every person possesses the literacy skills needed to reach his or her full potential in life and that the cycle of low literacy and poverty among families ends.


Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation commits to combating Houston’s literacy crisis by playing the following key roles:

  • Increase Awareness

  • Mobilize Volunteers

  • Contribute Research & Innovation

  • Invest in Community Impact


what we do


Serves as a champion for the literacy cause in Houston by communicating important and timely information to the community and uniting education, philanthropy, faith, government, business, health, civic, nonprofit community-based organizations, and citizens towards shared literacy goals.


Works diligently to expand the capacity of school districts, libraries and community-based literacy service providers to serve people in need through volunteerism and service.


Serves as a thought leader across the community, conducting and publishing local literacy-focused research and developing innovative programs to improve literacy rates.


Invest resources in evidence-based literacy programs and services through strategic partnerships and financial investments in neighborhoods where there is the greatest need.