February 2018
Dear Houston Community,

Love is in the air. The love for literacy, that is.

I invite you to help us spread the love of literacy by participating in one or more of our upcoming events listed in the calendar below.  Whether you don a hat, wig or full costume of your favorite Dr. Seuss character and read to a classroom of children on Read Across America Day or roll up your sleeves and help us pack home libraries for children in need at the My Home Library Big Awesome Book Sort, your time as a volunteer will have an impact.

We work every day to promote the love for literacy and support literacy organizations - libraries, school districts and community-based nonprofits - directly serving those in need. Whether through volunteerism, donating books, or sponsoring a child's home library, we need more people to join our movement to create a culture of literacy in our city and improve lives through the power of literacy. You can be the change in someone's life through your act of kindness and generosity.
Give the gift of literacy and share the love. 

Yours Truly,

Julie Baker Finck, Ph.D.

The Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, Ladies for Literacy Guild and
Young Professionals Groups have numerous upcoming events. 

My Home Library Campaign Begins
February 12
Sponsor a Child

Annual Community Book Drive
hosted by the Ladies for Literacy Guild
 February 21 - March 2

Annual Community Book Drive Kick-Off Event
St. Anne's Catholic School, 2120 Westheimer Rd.
February 22, 3:00 - 5:00 pm

Book Fair/Shop for a Cause
Barnes & Noble, 3003 W. Holcombe Blvd.
February 24, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

National Read Aloud Month
March 1 - March 31

Read Across America & Dr. Seuss' Birthday
March 2

My Home Library Big Awesome Book Sort
Region 4 Educational Service Center, 7145 W. Tidwell Rd.
March 23 and March 24

A Celebration of Reading
April 19, 6:30 pm
Hobby Center for the Performing Arts


Book Drive Co-Chairs Lisa Jakel and Rosie Damgaard stand inside the Curiosity Cruiser.
The Ladies for Literacy Guild of the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation is holding its 2nd Annual Community Book Drive from February 21 through March 2 to stock the Curiosity Cruiser, a mobile library operated by the Harris County Public Library to serve disadvantaged children across greater Houston. Join us in reaching our goal of collecting 50,000 new and like-new books for children and youth ages 4 through 13. Simply drop off your books at one of the designated collections sites or make a monetary donation in support of the Annual Community Book Drive here. Participating in this event is a simple way for you to help a child have a brighter future through the power of literacy.

We wish to thank St. Anne School Foundation and Community for sponsoring the 2018 Community Book Drive and Half Price Books and Barnes and Noble for donating new books to give this year's event an early jumpstart for success.


Amazing kids having an incredible time at the 2017 Camp Adventure!

For the past four years, we have united nonprofit and corporate partners to help combat and prevent the "summer learning slide" for hundreds of disadvantaged Houston children. Last year's Camp Adventure! was an incredible success, thanks to our strong partnership with the Houston Area Urban League and the Houston Symphony, along withthe more than 1,000 corporate volunteers who lent their time, talent and passion for children.

We are very excited to announce that Phillips 66 and PricewaterhouseCoopers have generously kick-started financial support for this year's Camp Adventure! and Children's Museum of Houston has stepped up to take an even bigger role by leading this year's summer learning program. Having the expertise, resources and the brand of the Children's Museum of Houston for the 2018 Camp Adventure! will be undoubtedly make summer cool for many children.

We are excited to partner with Reliant, to power the literacy cause. For every double-double Houston Rockets center Clint Capela (#15) attains for the remainder of the season, Reliant will donate $200 to the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation. The Houston Rockets are having an incredible season, standing at the top of the Southwest Division leaderboard. Clint Capela has played a pivotal role on the team, averaging 14 points and nearly 11 rebounds per game to date. We are confident Clint will continue to be a powerhouse on the court and help us change lives through the power of literacy. We are grateful for our partnership with Reliant and value their commitment to giving back to our community. Go Rockets! Go Clint Capela!


Michael Griffin, a volunteer with Dollar General,
speaks with a Hilliard Elementary School student
about the types of books she enjoys reading.
Are you looking for meaningful service opportunities to advance the literacy cause in our city? If so, please visit Connect4Literacy.org, Houston's go-to website for you to search and sign up for literacy-focused service projects! Dozens of members of our Literacy Partner Network - public libraries, community-based nonprofits and schools have volunteer opportunities available.

Whether you are looking to become a reading mentor to a first-grader through HISD's Read Houston Read initiative, a reading buddy to a group of elementary kids with Making It Better, a volunteer to support the Friends of the Houston Public Library community book sales, a read-aloud guest at a Houston Public Library branch, or volunteer to help us pack home libraries for kids through our My Home Library program, there is a way for you, your team or your family to get involved and make a difference in someone's life through the power of literacy.


Kaitlin Holy helps a child at Hollibrook Elementary School select six books through our My Home Library program.
Meet Kaitlin Holy, one of our dedicated My Home Library volunteers. In the fall, she joined us at Franklin, Hollibrook, and Meadow Wood elementary schools to help children select books through the My Home Library Build Event. For three years, Kaitlin worked as a library manager at a small private school in Spring, Texas. "My favorite thing about that job was that I was able to be the teacher that the kids knew, but I did not have to give tests or quizzes," she said. As a library manager, she oversaw organizing the library, coordinating library curriculum for the students and assessed the library program to make it student friendly. Her love of children and books attracted her to the job as well as the autonomy that she had. When Kaitlin is not volunteering, she is spending time with her three sons, who range from fourth to seventh grades.

Kaitlin was very excited to participate in our My Home Library Build Event. "I loved that the students could choose their own books and that there was a variety of books for them to select from", she said. She also loved that there were so many parents who volunteered for the event. She has continued her volunteer at our Build Events and for Books Between Kids despite being personally impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Her family was displaced from their home for four months, but she has continued to have a positive attitude throughout the process. Positive volunteers like Kaitlin help to make our events that much more special!


We are pleased to announce that Cameron Stubbs and Morgan Stautzenberger and Amy and Kyle McCully are serving as co-chairs for the 4th annual Jungle Book Gala hosted by our Young Professionals Group. The event will be held 8:00 pm to midnight, November 9, 2018 at The Revaire, a beautiful new venue in Houston. We've also lined up the award-winning Matchmaker Band from Austin, Texas. This 10-piece band will have you dancing all night to your favorite Motown, soul, and 70s classics. Mark your calendars to join us, and stay tuned for more information! All proceeds from the Jungle Book Gala fund children's literacy programs in Houston.
Cameron Stubbs and Morgan Stautzenberger.
Amy and Kyle McCully.