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Books and Reading

Laura Bush is a former librarian, an ardent lover of books, and an advocate of reading and lifelong learning. By sharing her love of books with children and adults, Mrs. Bush hopes to encourage Americans not only to read themselves, but to share reading with their families. During her time in Texas and Washington, Mrs. Bush has sponsored many initiatives urging children and adults to read, including events that celebrate the great authors and writings of America.

  • Ready to Read, Ready to Learn was launched by Mrs. Bush in February 2001, as an initiative with two major goals: ensuring that all young children are ready to read and learn when they enter their first classroom, and that once there, children have well-trained, qualified teachers, especially in our most impoverished neighborhoods.
  • White House Salute to America's Authors Mrs. Bush developed this series of literary events to honor some of America's most significant authors, including Mark Twain, authors of the Harlem Rennaisance and women authors of the American West.
  • National Book Festival is supported by Mrs. Bush each year to encourage Americans to develop a lifelong love of reading. The festival is free and open to the public. The 2003 National Book Festival is scheduled for October 4, on the National Mall.
  • Reach Out and Read is a non-profit organization founded in 1989 at Boston Medical Center (formerly Boston City Hospital) by a group of pediatricians and early childhood educators. Through the program, pediatricians give books to their patients to take home at all pediatric check-ups from six months to five years of age, encouraging parents to read aloud to their babies and infants.
  • The Designated Reader Campaign, a PBS initiative, encourages parents to read aloud to their children every day. For more information about the Designated Reader Campaign, go to http://pbskids.org/lions/designated/.
  • Get Caught Reading is a campaign to get people of all ages across the nation to enjoy reading. The campaign is sponored by the Association of American Publishers and the Magazine Publishers of America.
  • Texas Book Festival is a state-wide festival that Mrs. Bush started as wife of the Governer of Texas. This year's festival is scheduled for November 6-9, in Austin, Texas.

Related Links
White House Salute to American Authors Series
White House Symposium on the Life and Works of Mark Twain
White House Symposium on the Harlem Renaissance
White House Symposium on the Literary Legacy of Women in the American West
The National Book Festival
The National Book Festival 2002
The National Book Festival 2001
Texas Book Festival
Laura Bush: Librarian and Teacher
Resources: Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)
White House Conference on School Libraries
White House Colloquium on Libraries, Museums, and Lifelong Learning
Highlights of Mrs. Bush's Library Tours and Visits
Teaching Children to Use their Public Library
Laura Bush's Recommended Reading