Barbara Bush Foundation Awards $600,000+ in New Grants
WASHINGTON, April 23, 2009 — The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy announced today that its prestigious National Grant Program is awarding a total of $634,070 to 10 nonprofit organizations, public school districts, and other agencies across the United States to improve the literacy skills of parents and their children. Since its inception in 1989, the Foundation has awarded nearly $32 million to 730 family literacy programs in 50 states, including the nation’s capital.
"I truly believe that being able to read, write, and comprehend are the keys to a successful and happy life," said Barbara Bush. "And a literate society is important to keeping our country strong and safe. Our goal, and what these grants provide for, is to send children reading-ready to their first day of school, and to equip parents with the literacy tools they need for success. There is no greater opportunity for quality time between parent and child than reading together."
Ranging in size from $50,000 to $65,000 each, the 10 grants will support the development or expansion of family literacy programs in California, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia. Through a rigorous review process, recipients were selected from over 300 proposals submitted by a wide range of private, nonprofit and public institutions including libraries, correctional facilities, universities, housing projects, and public schools.
The 2009 National Grant Program recipients will be announced at the Barbara Bush Foundation's 15th annual fundraising event, A Celebration of Reading, which will be held on April 23, 2009 at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts in Houston, TX. The evening, hosted by George and Barbara Bush, will feature best-selling authors Ted Bell, Cherie Blair, Christopher Buckley, and Sara Gruen as well as other surprise guests.
In addition to the National Grant Program, the Foundation also has statewide family literacy initiatives in Maine, Texas, Florida, and Maryland. These four initiatives currently are completing their respective grant reviews, and will announce their 2009 grants by June.
The Barbara Bush Foundation’s 2009 National Grants recipients are (in alphabetical order by state):
Cambodian Association of America
Long Beach, CA
To support the Cambodian Family Literacy Program, an expansion of an ongoing program established in 2001. This program aims to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty and low-literacy among low-income Cambodian immigrants residing in Long Beach, CA, by providing English as a Second Language (ESL), parenting, and infant/toddler education to 20 families. The program also will provide bus passes, enabling more families to participate on a regular basis.
The Family Place
To support the expansion of the Comprehensive Family Literacy Project to reach 60 additional families. This funding will allow the program, which focuses on low-income Latino families with young children living below the poverty level in the District of Columbia’s Ward 1, to enhance its impact by offering family literacy education to include Basic/Intermediate English as a Second Language instruction, computer and parenting instruction, home visiting, and intergenerational literacy activities.
Mary’s Center for Maternal and Child Care, Inc.
To support the Even Start Multicultural Family Literacy Project, which offers an early childhood education program in conjunction with adult education classes such as ESL, computer skills training, employment tracking, civics, and child development for low-income immigrant families. This expansion project will allow additional families to participate in Even Start classes, parent-and-child “together time,” and parenting workshops.
Union Mission, Inc.
To support the New Chapter for Homeless Families program focusing on comprehensive literacy and educational assistance for homeless families. The program will partner with housing initiatives and homeless families to provide easily accessible adult education instruction, developmental and elementary education, after-school activities, parenting education, and family reading time. The program includes case management, employment assistance, and follow-up services as families transition from homelessness to self-sufficiency.
Howard Area Community Center
To support the Family Literacy Project, an integrated approach to improving literacy and language skills among low-income, low-literacy adults and their young children in Chicago’s Rogers Park Neighborhood. By providing adult education, early childhood education, parenting skills, and parent-and-child “together time,” the project aims to increase the capacity of parents to support their children’s development and learning while creating measurable outcomes for more than 30 families.
Whiteside County Regional Office of Education
To support the Whiteside County Family Literacy Partnership, an intensive, center-based family literacy program offering flexible daily scheduling options for Adult Basic Education (ABE), Adult Secondary Education (ASE), and English as a Second Language (ESL) for families with children ages birth to five. The program is a collaboration between Head Start and the Whiteside County Regional Office of Education. Daily programming includes adult education, early childhood education, parenting education, and literacy-based interactive activities for parents and their children.
ISD 281 Robbinsdale Area Schools Early Childhood Family Education
To support expansion of the Families Learning Together Program, a comprehensive family literacy program that seeks to strengthen low-income immigrant families through reading, learning, and “together time.” The program is a collaborative effort between Adult Basic Education, Early Childhood Family Education, and School Readiness. Expanding the program will enable the organization to meet increasing demand for family literacy services.
Crossroads Rhode Island
To support the Crossroads Family Literacy Program, which aims to integrate family literacy education into the larger work of the shelter, which is the largest provider of services to homeless and disconnected individuals and families in the state of Rhode Island. By providing targeted literacy and learning activities for the entire family, this program not only will rehabilitate these recently homeless or neglected community members, but also provide them with the means to begin making a life of their own. This program will be integrated with the pre-existing vocational service program, which includes adult education, one-on-one GED preparation, a certified nursing assistant program, and other employment services.
Middle Tyger Community Center
To support the Family Literacy Program, which equips disadvantaged families with the literacy and childcare skills necessary to become self-sufficient, productive members of the community. The grant will allow the Center to integrate more thoroughly the four basic components of family literacy programs into their service offerings, providing adult education services, early childhood education services, parent education services, and intergenerational literacy activities. Collaborating agencies, such as Spartanburg School District Five, will provide resources and referrals.
Madison Metro School District
To support the Madison Family Literacy Program, which provides very low- literacy immigrants and refugees with intensive adult, early childhood, parenting, and intergenerational literacy activities in order to give them the skills needed to succeed in school and in the workplace. With support from the Northport Community Neighborhood Networks, Wisconsin Colleges Technical Systems, and other providers, the program offers adult and early childhood classes year-round.
Founded by Barbara Bush in 1989, the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy supports the development and expansion of family literacy programs -- in settings where parents and children read and learn together -- across the United States. Grants are awarded on a competitive basis to nonprofit organizations, correctional institutions, homeless shelters, schools and school districts, libraries and community- and faith-based agencies. Over the past 20 years, the Foundation has awarded nearly $32 million to 730 family literacy programs in 50 states including the nation's capital. The Foundation is housed at The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region in Washington, DC. To learn more, visit www.barbarabushfoundation.com.