Today, Mrs. Laura Bush visited Wilkinson Middle School in Mesquite, Texas, to announce the transition of the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries to the Bush Institute at the George W. Bush Presidential Center, and to award Wilkinson and seven other middle schools a $7,000 library grant.
Mrs. Bush also toured an 8th grade reading class and a 7th grade English-Language Arts classroom, and then participated in a roundtable discussion with Mesquite ISD administrators and teachers about Wilkinson’s participation in Middle School Matters, an initiative at the George W. Bush Institute that seeks to increase the number of middle grade students who are prepared for high school and postsecondary success.
The Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries supports the education of our nation's children by providing funds to update, extend and diversify the book, print and reading collections in our country's neediest schools. It was founded in 2002 as a fund of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region in Washington, DC, and has awarded more than $11.5 million to almost 2,400 schools since its inception. The Foundation will continue providing grants to school libraries as a restricted fund of the Bush Institute and is now accepting applications for grants to be awarded in May of 2015. Information on applying can be found here.
Wilkinson Middle School is also one of eight Tier II schools in the 2014-2015 Middle School Matters program. The mission of Middle School Matters is to transform the middle grades by promoting high quality research-based strategies and practices to drive the development of policies that lead to better student outcomes. By using a tiered method of supporting districts, schools, and non-profit organizations, Middle School Matters is translating proven research into practical applications. Tier II invites selected schools to an annual conference to receive the support needed to develop and administer a Middle School Matters Implementation Plan. Tier I includes an online public clearinghouse of research/evidence-based practices and resources, and Tier III provides intensive support to selected schools by offering targeted assistance throughout the school year in the execution of their Middle School Matters Implementation Plan.
The other seven Tier II Middle School Matters schools receiving $7,000 grants from the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries include Advanced Studies Magnet-Haut Gap Middle School, Johns Island, South Carolina; Baytown Junior High School, Baytown, Texas; Grant Middle School, Corpus Christi, Texas; Lyndon B. Johnson Middle School, Pharr, Texas; Trinity Middle School, Trinity, Texas; Walter Woodward Elementary School, Manteca, California; and, Robert E. Lee Middle School, San Angelo, Texas.