June 2018
Dear Houston Community,

June is a special time as we pause in remembrance of our beloved Barbara Bush who will have celebrated her 93 rd birthday on June 8 and offer blessings to President George H. W. Bush on his upcoming 94 th birthday, June 12. They inspire us every day as we continue to unite the community in service to help more people have a brighter future and better life through the power of learning to read.

Five years ago, Neil and Maria Bush created the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation to advance Mrs. Bush’s indelible legacy and help Houston become a model for other cities in breaking the cycle of low literacy. As we celebrate our 5 th Anniversary, we are grateful for your outpouring of support and excited about what we will achieve the next five years and the lives that we will change together.

We are pleased to announce that we have issued our 2016 & 2017 Performance Report and invite you to take a few moments to read about the work we have accomplished; learn more about our financials; and gain a sneak peek into the strategic imperatives that will guide our work in the next few years to boost literacy rates in our city. We are proud to share this important information with you.

While a strong foundation has been laid to advance the Blueprint for Community Action, we recognize that much more work must be done to progress towards realizing Mrs. Bush’s vision of literacy for all in Houston. We are deeply grateful for your support and confidence.

Sincerely,
Julie Baker Finck, Ph.D.
President
First Lady Laura Bush to Headline
2018 Power of Literacy Luncheon
The Ladies for Literacy Guild is pleased to announce that former First Lady Laura Bush will serve as keynote speaker at the 2018 Power of Literacy Luncheon. In addition to her roles as First Lady of Texas and the United States, Mrs. Bush is a global advocate for healthcare innovations, women’s empowerment, education reform, and human rights. She has been a tireless advocate for literacy through the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries. Her foundation’s impact has raised millions of dollars and reached thousands of schools and libraries in all 50 states, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. Most recently Mrs. Bush partnered with beloved former First Lady Barbara Bush through the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation to provide relief for schools and libraries affected by hurricanes Harvey and Maria.

The conversation with First Lady Laura Bush will be moderated by her nephew, Pierce Bush. This year’s Power of Literacy Luncheon is chaired by Ladies for Literacy Guild Founding Member Cathy Cleary and will take place on October 23 rd at The Post Oak Hotel at Uptown. The past two Power of Literacy luncheons have sold out, so sponsor your table soon! For more information, contact Kristen Stubbs, Chief Development Officer, at kristen@bushhoustonliteracy.org or 346-212-2310.
Calendar of Events
June 6
YPG Networking event featuring Deutser CEO
Brad Deutser from 5:30 - 7:30pm

June 7
Book Signing & Kendra Scott event with Joy Saxton from 6-9pm

June 7 - 30
2018 Uptown Summer Dine Around

June 22
Barbara Bush Branch Library Grand Reopening Ceremony at 10am

June 30
Mix 96.5FM Prom Night Do-Over Benefiting Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation

July 9-19, July 23-August 2
Camp Adventure

July 21
Elite MMA Kick-a-thon benefiting Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation

August 25
Houston Dash vs. Sky Blue benefiting Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation

August 28
YPG Networking and Social Event with Phillips 66 from 6-8pm

September
National Literacy Awareness Month

September 8-9, 15-16, 22-23
Southern Living Magazine Showcase Home Event
benefiting Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation

September 20
YPG Jungle Book Gala Kick Off Party from 6-8pm

October 23
Power of Literacy Luncheon hosted by the Ladies for Literacy Guild

November
National Family Literacy Month

November 9
Fourth Annual Jungle Book Gala hosted by the Young Professionals Group


Experience the Hottest Summer Dining Event
The first-ever  2018 Uptown Summer Dine Around kicks off June 7 through June 30. The hottest summer dining event will offer special pricing and menu items at a variety of Uptown Houston restaurants, from fine dining to fast casual. In honor of Mrs. Bush and her commitment to the power of literacy, the event will support the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation.

Neil Bush and Julie Finck Keynote Texas Annual
Conference of the United Methodist Church
Neil & Maria Bush, Dr. Julie Finck,
Bishop Scott Jones at the Texas
Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church
On May 29 th , laity and clergy from more than 650 churches stretching from Matagorda to Texarkana gathered in The Woodlands for the 2018 Texas Annual Conference, the theme of which was We Love All God’s Children: Read. Learn. Live. Neil Bush and Julie Finck keynoted the three-day conference with an inspirational message of the power and importance of service to others and a call to action for church leaders to become advocates for children and schools in their communities. Their presentation featured six key ways in which the faith community can help children have a brighter and better future through the power of reading: raise awareness of the importance of reading; increase access to books in the homes of children; provide volunteer-based reading mentoring programs; offer summer learning programs that encourage children to read; expand childcare programs to more families; and educate and equip parents to be their child’s first and most important teachers. Learn more about the “We Love all God’s Children” Initiative and get your church involved in the literacy cause. 
Houston Rockets Score $10,000 for Literacy
Laurel D’Antoni & Paige Fertitta, Houston Rockets, Leanne Schneider, Reliant Energy, and Kime Smith, Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation.
Congratulations to Coach Mike D’Antoni and the entire Houston Rockets team for an incredible 2017-2018 season! Although basketball is a team sport, we wish to give a special shout-out to Houston Rockets Center Clint Capella for his excellence in attaining double-doubles (i.e. scoring 10 or more points and having 10 or more rebounds) in more than 50 games this season. Because of his performance, Reliant Energy donated $10,000 to the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation through their Double-Double campaign under which Reliant committed to donating $200 for every double-double Clint earned. We are grateful to Reliant and the Houston Rockets for teaming up with us to slam dunk low literacy in Houston. Go Rockets! Go Reliant!
Partnership Serves 1,500 Children
Impacted by Hurricane Harvey
Lauren Hammer with Collaboration for
Children distributes books to a child at
Small Steps Nurturing Center.
An employee from Save the Children shows a student at Bertha Alyce one of her new books.
The storm may be long gone, but the impacts are still evident across our community. Thanks to a partnership with Save the Children and Collaborative for Children , 1,500 of our youngest and most vulnerable children and their families received a welcomed gift through our My Home Library program. Children ages 4 and under served by 13 licensed childcare programs damaged by Hurricane Harvey, including Small Steps Nurturing Center and the Bertha Alyce Early Childhood School, received new books to rebuild their home libraries and enjoy reading with their caregivers. Many families shared that they were still displaced from and/or rebuilding their homes and that reading the books will provide a wonderful opportunity to share special moments after experiencing such significant hardship. The joy on the faces of the children when they received their books were priceless.
Camp Adventure!
We are pleased to partner with the Children’s Museum of Houston and the Houston Area Urban League once again to provide more than 400 children in grades kindergarten through five a summer learning experience called Camp Adventure! During this two-week program held July 9 - August 2, kids will get S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) integrated with reading through hands-on experiments and engaging activities. Held at Codwell and Atherton elementary schools in HISD, Camp Adventure! is free to children thanks to financial support from Phillips 66 , PwC , Target and the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation .
 
We are grateful to the following organizations who have already committed volunteers to help staff Camp Adventure! They are Cheniere , ConocoPhillips , EOG Resources , Houston Independent School District , JP Morgan Chase , Marathon Oil , Phillips 66 , PwC , Reliant Energy , Target and Trotter YMCA . Click below to volunteer at Camp Adventure! and make a difference in a child’s life! To sign up a team, please contact Olivia Lewis or Marina Kahlid at 346-212-2310.    
A Phillips 66 volunteer at Camp Adventure! in 2017.
Seize the Summer
Another school year has ended for children across our city. Not only is summer a time for children to have fun, but it is also an important time for them to continue to read and learn. So, let’s make summer count. Why? Because children tend to lose ground in math and reading during the summer months. This summer learning loss cumulates year after year and can result in children losing significant ground academically.

There are several other free programs in our city and online that engage and encourage children to read and learn. Check out our website to learn more about why you need to make summer count and to view the list of available free programs for the children in your life. 
Annual Community Book Drive Garners
a Whopping 50,000 Books for Kids
This year, the Ladies for Literacy Guild partnered with over 500 dedicated corporations, small community businesses, schools, and individuals, resulting in the collection of over 50,000 books . These books will aid the grassroots effort to address Houston’s literacy crisis, putting books into the hands of a child, as well as stock the Curiosity Cruiser . Distributing these books throughout the community will play a key role in fostering a culture of reading across Houston and lift literacy rates among children. Studies have shown that when children have access to books in the home, they perform at higher academic levels and begin to close the reading achievement gap. 
2018 Book Drive co-chairs
Rosie Damgaard
and Lisa Jakel.
Generous Donation by Cheniere Energy, Inc.
From left to right: Faith Parker, Neil and Maria Bush, Julie Finck, and Jack Fusco.
In honor of Barbara Bush and her legacy of literacy, Cheniere Energy, Inc. generously donated $150,000 to the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation. Foundation Co-Chairs Neil and Maria Bush and Foundation President Julie Baker Finck were on hand to accept the generous gift. We thank Cheniere for their continued support of our mission. Our partnership with Cheniere makes it possible for us to continue Mrs. Bush’s vision of providing everyone the opportunity to read, write, speak clearly, and think critically.

“Barbara Bush has left a legacy of literacy and learning here in Houston, and we honor her memory by continuing her good works with the children of our company’s hometown,” said Jack Fusco, President and CEO of Cheniere.
Read Aloud at Piney Point Village
YPG Service Chair Carly Colton
helps kids select books.
YPG member Monica Lunsford
surrounded by smiling kids and books.
We wish to give a big shout out to members of our Young Professionals Group, Books Between Kids, and the staff and students of Jefferson Elementary School for celebrating the joy of reading. Each student had the opportunity to choose 6 gently used books to build their home library. 
Scarborough My Home Library Book Distribution
Diane Gonzalez Bertrand (1 st from the left) with Scarborough Elementary School’s book club.
The students at Scarborough Elementary had a special My Home Library book distribution! Diane Gonzales Bertrand, author of Sip, Slurp, Soup, Soup / Caldo, Caldo, Caldo , spoke to the students and autographed their books. She discussed her writing process and where her inspiration comes from for her books. The students were inspired by her presentation and asked several questions to learn more about the life of an author. Mrs. Bertrand also had lunch with members from Scarborough Elementary’s book club. She encouraged each of them to write as much as possible and to keep a notebook with them wherever they go.

Diane Gonzales Bertrand is writer-in-residence at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio. She teaches creative writing and composition. She is a published author of poetry, fiction and non-fiction for children and teens.  
Ribbon Cutting of Carson Parke Includes
Barbara Bush Library Dedication
Dr. Finck, Mayor Sylvester Turner, Chester & Latoya Pitts, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee, and
former Harris County Sherriff Adrian Garcia stand
with the Carson Parke team to cut the ribbon.
Photo Credit: Fred Agho
Barbara Bush Library at Carson Parke.
Photo Credit: Fred Agho
Former Houston Texans Chester M. Pitts II and his wife, LaToya created a state-of-the-art Residential Treatment Center, for girls ages 12 to 17 with serious to severe emotional and behavioral problems, in addition to victims of human trafficking. The 70,000 sq. foot Carson Parke is a beautiful, secured facility where the overall environment is to nurture, protect and transform the lives of the youth served. The facility also features a library named in honor of Barbara Bush, equipped with books and computers provided by the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation.

The Foster care system as we know it today has come up short. Children who come through the system don’t have a foundation or solid footing and are set up for failure. [My wife and I] want these children to have a legitimate and fair shot to be contributing members in our society,” said Chester Pitts.