As a former teacher and librarian, Mrs. Bush knows that reading is the foundation for all learning. One of her favorite projects is to help recruit good teachers and inform parents and caregivers about the best ways to prepare children to learn to read. As a child, Mrs. Bush loved listening to her mother read. Little did she know that her mother was doing much more than providing comfort and entertainment; she was paving the way for learning and success in school.
Research shows that the early language experiences and education that caring adults provide for children shape the way they think and learn. The quality of these experiences affects a child's enthusiasm for learning, ability to interact with others and success in school.
Though many children grow up hearing a broad vocabulary and being read to from infancy, others enter school without knowing the names of letters or how to count. For these children, reading and learning can be a struggle. If they are unable to overcome this obstacle, their loss affects all of society.
Mrs. Bush encourages all parents, caregivers, and teachers to help make sure that every child starts school with the skills needed to learn. Once in the classroom, children should have excellent and effective teachers and a high-quality education.
No Child Left Behind
The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) is based on the belief that every child can learn, and every school must teach. NCLBs core principles include making sure every child is at or above grade level in reading and math by 2014; promoting annual measurement and disaggregation of data so parents and educators know how all students are doing; and providing meaningful information and options for parents and support for schools to improve so students can achieve. The Presidents FY09 budget increases total funding for NCLB by $1 billion, to $24.5 billion.
Mrs. Bush believes all Americans have a duty to help children achieve success. She joins President Bush in his goal to make America's schools the best they can be by setting high expectations, providing needed resources and support for teachers and principals, and keeping a focus on every child achieving and succeeding in higher education and the workplace.
Laura Bush has focused her attention on several alternative teacher recruitment programs including Troops to Teachers, the New Teacher Project, and Teach For America. Troops to Teachers has placed more than 11,000 former military personnel in teaching positions, the New Teacher Project has implemented 70 programs in 28 states and prepared more than 33,000 new teachers, and Teach For Americas 14,000 corps members have taught more than 3 million children.
Mrs. Bush believes all Americans have a duty to help children achieve success. She joins President Bush in his goal to make America's schools the best they can be.
The Reading First program builds on a solid foundation of scientifically based research and provides struggling students in the Nation's highest need schools with resources to make significant progress in reading achievement. Although many children become proficient in reading during their elementary school years, some middle and high school students still struggle with reading. The Striving Readers program aims at improving the reading skills of struggling middle school- and high school-aged students and at building a strong, scientific research base around specific strategies that improve adolescent literacy skills.
As a former librarian, Mrs. Bush understands the importance of libraries. In the highly competitive Information Age, school libraries can provide access to the resources and services students need to succeed. This is particularly important when serving children who have limited access at home to computers and the Internet. No Child Left Behind's Improving Literacy Through School Libraries (LSL) grant program provides funds to help schools improve their library media and address the reading challenges of their students.
Serving as Honorary Ambassador for the United Nations Literacy Decade through 2012, Mrs. Bush is an international spokesperson for the education of people in every nation, especially women and girls. She supports education programs to foster economic development, advance opportunity, and promote human rights worldwide. To emphasize the need for a sustained international commitment to promoting literacy, Mrs. Bush hosted conferences in 2006, 2007, and 2008 that were attended by first ladies, education ministers, literacy experts, and private donor organizations from around the world. As Honorary Chair for the U.S.-Afghan Womens Council, Mrs. Bush supports efforts that help provide Afghan women and girls with educational opportunities and skills previously forbidden under the Taliban. During trips to Africa, Mrs. Bush highlighted the efforts of the Presidents Africa Education Initiative, which increased education opportunities for more than 34 million children.