News Archive

January 12, 2018

The Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries Awards more than $850,000 in First Round of Grants to School Libraries Devastated by Recent Disasters

 

Dallas, TX – Today, The Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries announced the first round of 2017 Disaster Relief Initiative grants totaling more than $850,000 will be distributed to 17 school libraries damaged or destroyed during Hurricane Harvey.

“Just like we did after Hurricane Katrina, The Laura Bush Foundation is committed to rebuilding school library collections that have been devastated during disasters we witnessed last fall,” said Mrs. Laura Bush. “As a former librarian, I know school libraries are important to improving student achievement, and with the first round of grants from the 2017 Disaster Relief Initiative, these schools can start on the path to full recovery.”

The schools receiving grants will also benefit with discounts on new books and materials generously offered by Scholastic Inc., Follett School Solutions, and Mackin Educational Resources. Thanks to a $150,000 restricted grant from the Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief Fund of The Dallas Foundation, the Laura Bush Foundation is able to award $135,000 to two elementary schools in Orange, TX—Little Cypress Elementary and Mauriceville Elementary—to replace a complete collection of books and printed materials. Another 15 school libraries in Texas that were damaged in Hurricane Harvey will receive grants ranging from $1,500 to $70,000.

In response to a shattering season of storms and wildfires, The Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries established the 2017 Disaster Relief Initiative to help rebuild school libraries that were damaged or destroyed in recent natural disasters in Texas, Florida, California, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. In addition to directing approximately $1 million of its resources to the 2017 Disaster Relief Initiative, the Laura Bush Foundation continues to fundraise for the school library rebuilding efforts. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, and grants will continue to be awarded all over the Nation to help replace book and print collections in America’s school libraries.

The 2017 Disaster Relief Initiative is the second time the Laura Bush Foundation has assisted in disaster relief efforts. The “Gulf Coast School Library Recovery Initiative,” created and raised as a separate and special fund, helped rebuild school library collections affected by the devastation of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. The Laura Bush Foundation awarded nearly $6.5 million in grants to 124 schools in the Gulf Coast area between 2006 and 2012.

"We will continue to fundraise tirelessly for the 2017 Disaster Relief Initiative, and I encourage librarians in regions that have seen disaster to apply for funding," said Mrs. Laura Bush. "To everyone affected, you have the support of your neighbors from across the nation, and we know that with your hard work and can-do spirit, you schools will thrive again."

For more information on how to support or apply to the 2017 Disaster Relief Initiative, please visit www.laurabushfoundation.org.

The Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries provides grants of up to $7,000 to our Nation’s neediest schools so they can extend, update, and diversify the book and print collections in their libraries with the goal of encouraging students to develop a love of reading and learning.  Since its inception in 2002, it has awarded over $14.3 million to more than 2,700 schools across the country.

In 2014, The Laura Bush Foundation transitioned from the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region in Washington, D.C. to the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas, where it is managed as a restricted fund.

 

The 2017 Disaster Relief Initiative

FIRST ROUND GRANT RECIPIENTS

 

AC Blunt Middle School—Aransas Pass, TX

True Cross Catholic School—Dickinson, TX

Galena Park Elementary School—Galena Park, TX

Beth Yeshurun Day School—Houston, TX

Lutheran South Academy—Houston, TX

S.C. Red Elementary School—Houston, TX

Hull-Daisetta Elementary School—Hull, TX

Mauriceville Elementary—Orange, TX

Little Cypress Elementary School—Orange, TX

Orangefield Elementary School—Orange, TX

Brundrett Middle School—Port Aransas, TX

Port Aransas High School—Port Aransas, TX

Olsen Elementary—Port Aransas, TX

Little Bay Primary—Rockport, TX

Henderson Middle School—Sour Lake, TX

Vidor Middle School—Vidor, TX

Oak Forest Elementary School—Vidor, TX

 

 

September 25, 2017

Former First Ladies Unite to Provide Relief to Schools Affected by Hurricane Season 2017

The Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation and The Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries Pledge to Support Education in the Aftermath of Disaster 

Dallas, TX – Today, The Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries and the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation announced a combined $2 million pledge to support education in the aftermath of recent catastrophic hurricanes. Of the $2 million, The Laura Bush Foundation is dedicating nearly $1 million for grants that will be awarded to schools affected by this year’s devastating natural disasters as part of the 2017 Disaster Relief Initiative. The Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation is committing $1 million to provide resources to public libraries, as well as supplies and books to classroom teachers and students in Houston who were affected by Hurricane Harvey.

“This fall, we have witnessed devastating forces of nature,” said Mrs. Laura Bush. “I am thrilled to be partnering with the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation during this time of great need. We are committed to rebuilding school libraries that have been damaged during this year’s hurricane season so that our nation’s children have the resources they need to be successful in the classroom and beyond.”

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, as well as other storms this season, have caused catastrophic damage in Houston and along the Texas Gulf Coast by flooding schools and homes and leaving many families and their children displaced. The Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation and The Laura Bush Foundation recognize the importance of helping families regain a sense of normalcy in their lives, and the ability to access the academic and support services in their schools is paramount to returning to that normalcy. The foundations will raise funds to rebuild school and community libraries, provide classroom resources for teachers, distribute school supplies and books to children in need, and mobilize volunteers.

The Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries provides annual grants to our Nation’s neediest schools so they can extend, update, and diversify the book and print collections in their libraries. In addition to the annual grants, the “Gulf Coast School Library Recovery Initiative” in 2006 provided nearly $6.5 million to school libraries affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita to rebuild book collections damaged or destroyed in the storms. With a goal to raise additional funds to combine with the initial pledge, this year’s Disaster Relief Initiative will provide larger grants to schools in Texas and across the southeastern United States that have been devastated by this year's storms. 

“As heartbroken as George and I were watching Hurricane Harvey engulf our beloved Texas with unprecedented floodwaters, so too were we moved by the selfless heroism of the first responders and neighbors who risked their own safety to help others,” said Mrs. Barbara Bush. “Seeing Texans reaching out and coming together is why I am so proud to join Laura and her foundation to equip our childcare centers, schools and libraries with resources they need to help children and their families continue on the path to recovery.”    

The two foundations have brought together partners from across the country in support of their disaster relief efforts, including Dollar General Literacy Foundation, Kids in Need Foundation and Phillips 66. Dollar General Literacy Foundation and Phillips 66 each donated $250,000 to help rebuild home libraries for children, and Kids In Need Foundation, with support from Dollar General Literacy Foundation, will be supplying more than $1 million in school supplies.

For more information on how to donate to school libraries in need, or how to apply for school disaster relief, please visit www.laurabushfoundation.com.

To support relief efforts to Houston-area public libraries, teachers, and children affected by Hurricane Harvey or to volunteer, please visit www.bushhoustonliteracy.org.

 

###

About the Laura Bush Foundation

The Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries provides grants to our Nation’s neediest schools so they can extend, update, and diversify the book and print collections in their libraries with the goal of encouraging students to develop a love of reading and learning.  Since its inception in 2002, it has awarded over $14.3 million to more than 2,700 schools across the country.  In addition to the annual grants, the “Gulf Coast School Library Recovery Initiative” in 2006 provided nearly $6.5 million to school libraries affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita to rebuild book collections lost or destroyed in the storms. In 2014, The Laura Bush Foundation transitioned from the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region in Washington, D.C. to the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas, where it is managed as a restricted fund. More information can be found at www.laurabushfoundation.org. 

About the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation

The Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, co-chaired by Neil and Maria Bush, was established as a charitable organization focused on improving the quality of life for Houston residents through the power of literacy. The Foundation advocates for literacy as a fundamental right of everyone and a foundational skill towards success in life. It is founded on the belief held by Barbara Bush, former First Lady, “If you help a person to read, then their opportunities in life will be endless.” In 2013, the Bush Family created the Houston-based foundation separate from the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, a national foundation, in response to the need to deepen the awareness of and intensify services and support for the nation’s fourth largest and most diverse city – Houston. For more information, visit www.bushhoustonliteracy.org or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bushhoustonliteracy  on Twitter @bushhoustonlit and on Instagram @bushhoustonlit.

May 22, 2017

Jefferson Elementary receives grant from the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries

Jefferson Elementary has received a $7,000 grant from The Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries.

“I am so excited for what this means to our students, and I am so thankful for the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries,” said Carol Weimer Williams, Jefferson's library media specialist.

More than $930,000 in grants will be distributed to 160 school libraries across the country this year for the purchase of books and reading materials.

Read full article on the Gleaner

May 22, 2017

Tolbert Elementary welcomes three renowned children’s book authors

Three nationally known children’s book authors visited Dallas ISD’s Thomas Tolbert Elementary School on Friday, May 19 – one of them possibly more notable for the eight years she lived in the White House.

Former First Lady Laura Bush visited the school to announce the DFW-area winners of grants through the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries. Schools in Denton and Arlington are receiving grants in the latest round of awards. She also read the book, Our Great Big Backyard, co-written with her daughter Jenna Bush Hager. The story follows a family as they take a road trip to visit several national parks – at first a girl in the family goes reluctantly but finally sees the value of the natural wonders they encounter.

Author James Luna read his book, The Place Where You Live, and also taught students to say “here, the place where you live” in sign language. Hena Kahn read from her book, Amina’s Voice, about a Pakistani-American Muslim girl navigating the challenges of middle school, on top of the challenges Muslim-Americans sometimes face. Luna and Kahn toured the school Friday morning to see student projects inspired by the three books.

Each student received their own free copy of one of the books, and the school library received copies as well. The authors’ visits and donated books were funded by the Laura Bush Foundation’s “Reading Rock Stars” grant.