Former First Lady Barbara Bush has announced new leadership to guide the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy into the next decade, though she insists she will remain actively engaged in the Foundation’s mission, a press release from the Foundation says today.
Mrs. Bush announced that her son, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and her daughter, Doro Bush Koch, will serve as co-chairs of the Barbara Bush Foundation before a national audience of literacy advocates and educators at the United States Conference on Adult Literacy in Houston earlier this week.
“I am very proud of what the Foundation has accomplished in the last 20 years, but there still is so much more to do,” said Mrs. Bush.
“Far too many Americans still lack the basic skills of reading, writing, and comprehension. With Doro and Jeb’s leadership and experience, the Foundation will grow to the next level and expand our efforts to instill a love of reading in homes in every state.”’
Both Jeb and Doro have been influential advocates for the family literacy movement in their home states of Florida and Maryland. Doro Bush Koch helped establish the Maryland Family Literacy Initiative and that state’s annual Celebration of Reading, while in Florida, former Governor Jeb Bush established the Florida Family Literacy Initiative. He and his wife also began hosting the annual Florida Celebration of Reading to support successful community-based programs where adults and children alike can work on English and literacy skills.
“I am proud to help carry on the incredible work started by my mother,” said Governor Bush, who addressed the conference by video.
“With today’s evolving world of technology, bold ideas and innovative ways of teaching will help bring the family literacy movement into the future.”
As of June 2011, The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy has awarded over $40 million to 902 family literacy programs in 50 states including the nation’s capital.