Mrs. Bush Announces Creation of Laura Bush Foundation For America's Libraries

Grants will benefit school libraries; help children explore the world through books

Washington, DC - Laura Bush today announced the creation of the Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries through the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region. The purpose of the Laura Bush Foundation is to enhance the book collections of school libraries across the country. The establishment of the Foundation is timed to coincide with the First Annual National Book Festival that Mrs. Bush is hosting with the Library of Congress on September 8, 2001.

"My lifelong passion for books and reading began when I was a little girl," said Mrs. Bush. "This new Foundation provides yet another opportunity to share with America's children the magical world of books and reading."

As school budgets have become stretched, school districts have had to apply their resources to programs and services other than libraries. It is not uncommon for libraries to receive funds for computers and related technology instead of books. As a result, some libraries lack a good collection of enjoyable and engaging books that encourage children to read, as well as up-to-date subject area books and reference materials. One of the purposes of the Laura Bush Foundation is to help libraries find a balance between technology and contemporary books by providing needed funding for book purchases.

Grants from the Foundation will help school libraries extend their collections so that children across the country can access books about science, history, drama or classic literature, or any other topic.

"Connecting children with books is a critical step toward instilling the love of reading at a very young age," said Mrs. Bush. "I look forward to working with other book lovers to ensure that every child in our great nation has access through books to the building blocks of learning."

For more information on the Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries, contact Meg Pearson at the Community Foundation at (202) 955-5890.

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