Gulf Coast Rebuilding
The President and Mrs. Bush are committed to helping Gulf Coast communities rebuild their lives in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma. Mrs. Bush regularly travels to the Gulf Coast region to witness the progress being made, bring attention to the ongoing need for help, and thank those who are working hard to help people recover and return to normal lives.
Rebuilding Gulf Coast School Libraries
Mrs. Bush is working to rebuild Gulf Coast school library collections lost because of the hurricanes. According to the U.S. Department of Education, 1,121 public and private schools in the Gulf Coast region were damaged or destroyed. The basic cost of building a book collection is about $50,000 for an elementary school library and over $100,000 for a secondary school library.
Opportunities to Help
Helping Children Regain Normalcy
Mrs. Bush wants every child to regain a sense of normal life. Returning to school is an important part of that process because schools provide a safe and nurturing environment. Mrs. Bush and U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings have encouraged people all over America to help schools rebuild and acquire new supplies. To find out how to help, visit the Department of Educations website, Hurricane Help for Schools.
For Young People
All young people in high school and in college can participate in a Gulf Coast Recovery volunteer project during their summer vacations. Youth service helps the community, and it also helps the young volunteers themselves. Research shows that when young people participate in service opportunities, they are less likely to engage in risky behavior and more likely to feel connected to their communities.
For People of All Ages
People of all ages can find volunteer opportunities in their community or in the Gulf Coast region by visiting the USA Freedom Corps website at www.volunteer.gov.