July 2018
Dear Houston Community,

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! It may be hot this summer, but we have some cool things happening to advance our beloved Barbara Bush’s legacy and our mission of improving lives through the power of literacy. Allow me to provide you with a sneak peek.

Camp Adventure! is underway this month for hundreds of children. Packed with hands-on activities, this summer learning experience will give kids STEAM (i.e. science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) with reading going in to the school year. Sign up as a volunteer. It’s the next best thing to being a kid and attending the camp. In fact, there are scientific benefits to volunteering as you’ll learn in this newsletter.
Philanthropic six-year-old Kole Barton presents funds she raised by selling t-shirts in honor of Mrs. Bush.
Elite Mixed Martial Arts is kick-starting summer by hosting a Kick-a-thon on July 21 benefiting the Foundation. I won’t be chilling out on the sidelines either. Join me and work up a sweat for a great cause.

The Curiosity Cruiser is booked for the summer with more than 100 visits to offer educational programming and give books away to children in 10 under-served neighborhoods. We are excited that this one-of-a-kind mobile library on wheels is helping kids learn that it is cool to be smart!

Be sure to read on to learn more about what we are doing in the community and how you can get involved in making a difference in the lives of others.

Be cool and stay cool this summer!
Julie Baker Finck, Ph.D.
Special Gift Made in Honor of Barbara Bush
On June 22 nd , we were pleased to participate in the grand re-opening ceremony of the Barbara Bush Branch Library and the Pauline Robin Bush Children’s Library , which had been devastated by Hurricane Harvey. During the event, we presented a $200,000 gift to the Harris County Public Library to advance Mrs. Bush’s legacy. Funds, provided in partnership with our long-standing corporate partner, Phillips 66 , expands our original commitment of $25,000 requested by Mrs. Bush just weeks prior to her passing to create a special area at the Barbara Bush Branch Library, modeled after Family Place Library™.
From left to right: Kristen Oesch Stubbs, BBHLF Chief Development Officer; Edward Melton, HCPL Director; Julie Finck, BBHLF President; County Commissioner R. Jack Cagle
The more significant investment will be used by the Harris County Public Library system to create “George and Barbara Bush Family Centers” in a total of eight county library locations. The centers will be a place for families and children to stimulate learning, as well as provide staff with specialized training to expand programs specifically for toddlers and their parents. In addition, the specially-designed spaces will feature interactive materials, early literacy kits, games, toys, music and multimedia resources, learning stations, and of course, books.

Barbara was passionate about family literacy, because she believed that a parent is a child’s first and most important teacher,” said President George H.W. Bush. “I hope that families who visit the libraries will be empowered to support their child’s early learning and development and create a special bond by reading together as Barbara had envisioned.”

The $200,000 grant comes on the heels of the recent $350,000 investment made our Ladies for Literacy Guild in the Curiosity Cruiser mobile library which was donated to the Harris County Public Library.

We are excited about our continued partnership with public libraries across the greater Houston area, and are confident that if we continue to do the right things and make the right investments such as these, the future of our families and our city will be much, much brighter.
Calendar of Events
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

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

National Family Literacy Month

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

Camp Adventure!
We are pleased to once again join the Children’s Museum of Houston, HISD and Houston Area Urban League to host Camp Adventure! for 400 under-served children in Houston’s Fifth Ward and Sunnyside communities. Sponsored by Phillips 66, PwC, Target, Marathon Oil, EOG Resources and JP Morgan, this summer learning camp is a free, two-week experience featuring dance and performance classes from Theater Under the Stars, music classes from the Houston Symphony, cooking classes by the Houston Food Bank, recreation and play by the American Heart Association and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) interactive activities by the Children’s Museum of Houston. Every lesson embeds reading and is led by a certified teacher. Each child will take home a home library of approximately 15 new books and visit a Pop-Up Target Store to shop for school supplies, games, toys and more books.

“I am truly excited Codwell Elementary School was chosen as a camp site for the Summer 2018. This experience not only brings back fond memories for me of camp as a child, it will have a lasting impact on the students and community,” Kristy Love, Codwell Elementary School’s principal. “Our students will be able to experience what many see as a luxury right in their backyard. Thank you to the Barbara Bush Foundation, the Children’s Museum, Houston Area Urban League, Target and all of the other partners.” 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 Khalid at 346-212-2310.
Humanitarian Award Bestowed to Foundation Leader
The Honorable George Strake with Dr. Finck
at the Humanitarian Awards Luncheon.
During the Humanitarian Awards Luncheon hosted by the Latino Learning Center, leaders from across the city were honored for their philanthropic service. We are pleased to share that Dr. Julie Finck, president of the Foundation received an award in the category of “Human Action in the Community.” We congratulate the Latino Learning Center on its 40 th Anniversary serving the Houston community and all of the award recipients for their selfless acts of kindness and generosity.
A Summer of Curiosity
June 6 th marked the beginning of the Curiosity Cruiser’s 10-week Summer programming! Lisa Blackwell, the Mobile Literacy Specialist at Harris County Public Library, has added two additional interns to her summer staff, as they begin to offer daily summer programming around Harris County, from Pasadena to Baytown. The Cruiser’s summer programming includes two read alouds every session and activities, such as robotics, LEGO construction, creative art projects, and 3D printing! Stay tuned for further updates regarding the adventures that children will be experiencing throughout the summer and into next school year! Follow @curiositycruiser and @harriscountypl on Instagram and follow and visit www.curiositycruiser.com for photos and specific information regarding upcoming events in your area!
Young Professionals Network for Clarity
The June networking event for our Young Professionals Group was hosted by Deutser, Inc. at their wonderful workspace in the Marathon Oil building in Uptown Houston. Deutser, Inc., is a consulting and design agency that delivers organizational clarity to its clients through a dynamic combination of business acumen, ingenuity, curiosity, and on-demand creativity. Deutser, Inc. President and CEO Brad Deutser led a conversation about the agency’s approach and how the young professionals in attendance can navigate the fast-paced and ever changing workplace culture of uncertainty. Brad has laid out his visionary approach in his book Leading Clarity, which seeks to alter the status quo approach to delivering change and breakthrough results. The young professionals each received a signed copy of the book and participated in an open dialogue with Brad and other leaders of the agency. We are grateful for our partnership with the extraordinary team at Deutser, Inc.

To become a member of YPG and attend can’t-miss events like this, click below. 
You'll Get a "Kick" Out of This
Houston-based Mixed Martial Arts School, Elite MMA, is kicking off summer on the right foot with a “Kick-A-Thon” event benefiting the Foundation on Saturday, July 21 at Elite MMA’s main Houston location. All funds raised through pledges will fund the Foundation’s My Home Library program for under-served students in the surrounding area, providing six books each to children in need. Through this event, they hope to serve more than 800 children within the community.

Community members of all ages are invited to kick it up a notch with a workout that gives back. During the Kick-A-Thon, participants will have 15 minutes to earn their pledges by kicking bags as many times as they can to meet their goals. Attendees will also have the opportunity to participate in a martial arts fight-a-thon and roll-a-thon. In addition, the event will feature a dunk tank, food trucks, face painting, bounce house, as well as fun reading activities led by members of the Foundations’ Young Professionals Group.

“We were inspired to partner with the Foundation after learning of the literacy crisis in Houston and the impact it is having in our area,” said Frost Murphy, instructor at Elite MMA. “We thought this would be a perfect fit and a great way to give back to the Houston community.” 
Science Says:
The Benefits of Volunteering
We have always been told that volunteering is something that is good to do. But did you know that scientific evidence supports the benefits of volunteering? For years, researchers have been looking at how giving your time to a cause can help positively influence your life. Volunteering offers vital help to people in need through worthwhile causes in the community, but the benefits can be even greater for you. 

Research has found that when you volunteer, your brain releases dopamine, a chemical that provides the same feel-good sense you experience after a vigorous workout. Volunteering also reduces stress levels by creating a sense of purpose and well-being. A 2009 Johns Hopkins University study revealed that volunteer activities get you moving and thinking at the same time, which increases your brain activity. Another study released by UnitedHealth Group found that the overwhelming majority of participants reported feeling mentally and physically healthier after a volunteer experience. Here are additional facts about the benefits of volunteering: 

Scientific numbers:

of people who volunteered in the last twelve 
months said that volunteering has made them feel healthier.

of volunteers said that giving their time 
to a cause improved their mood.

of volunteers said that it 
lowered their stress levels.

reported that volunteering increased  
their sense of purpose in life.