Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, Inc.

Tallahassee, FL   |  www.barbarabush.org

Mission

The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy is committed to building a stronger, more equitable America through literacy.

Ruling year info

2007

President and Chief Executive Officer

British A. Robinson

Main address

516 N. Adams St

Tallahassee, FL 32301 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Volunteer USA Foundation

EIN

26-0587238

NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (B01)

Remedial Reading, Reading Encouragement (B92)

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2020, 2019 and 2018.
Register now

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Low literacy is a silent and enduring crisis in our country, preventing 130 million Americans from fully engaging in our society as parents, workers, and citizens. Roughly 54% of U.S. adults aged 16-74 lack proficiency in literacy, essentially reading below a sixth grade level. This issue lies at the core of the multigenerational cycles of poverty, poor health, and low educational attainment that impact our families, communities, and our nation as a whole. We believe that Adult literacy is the key to breaking these multigenerational cycles. Yet, very few people are talking about adult literacy. The field is historically underfunded and under-researched.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Teen Trendsetters®

Teen Trendsetters® is among the Barbara Bush Foundation’s longest-running programs. The program pairs teen mentors with elementary schoolers who are reading six months or more below grade level, using evidence-based strategies and activities to build literacy skills and confidence. Since its launch in 2002, Teen Trendsetters has evolved to serve struggling elementary school readers and their families, leveraging an innovative combination of high quality curriculum, research-proven mentoring techniques, and parental engagement to improve literacy skills across multiple generations.

OUR IMPACT

Since 2002:
• The Barbara Bush Foundation has supported more than 1,600 Teen Trendsetters programs in 18 states, providing more than 513,000 books to nearly 35,000 struggling readers.
• Over 37,000 mentors have volunteered more than 675,000 hours to help their mentees improve their reading, with outstanding results.
• The cost per participant over the life of the program is $118 – approximately $12.68/hour of mentoring delivered.

OUR RESULTS

• Overall, mentees progress one grade level or more in reading after seven months in the Teen Trendsetters program.
• The increase of more than one grade level in reading is even more substantial, given that mentees began well below grade level.
• This progress is significant because mentees showed 50% more growth than would be expected for an on-grade or above-grade reader during this time.
• A five-year meta-analysis of the results of the Teen Trendsetters program in Florida concluded that, in conjunction with their participation in Teen Trendsetters, these students began to close the gap with their peers. Specifically, mentees showed between 18% and 31% more growth in their reading skills than one would expect for the average student.

This year, we have enhanced the program to serve entire families, incorporating resources and new technology that equip parents to fulfill their essential role as—in the words of Barbara Bush—their child’s “first and best teacher.” Each book that children read with their teen mentor is added to their home libraries, accompanied by a parent guide that engages caregivers by providing literacy activities for home. And, recognizing that many parents and caregivers may struggle with reading themselves, we offer resources for them as well. Each parent guide provides free access to the Cell-Ed adult literacy app for parents who wish to improve their own literacy skills without attending classes.

In the coming months, we look forward to:
• Continuing to enhance the program’s resources to foster parent engagement and adult literacy skill development
• Implementing an online version of the program to reach learners outside of traditional schools
• Extending the program beyond the academic year to help students keep progressing year-round
• Expanding the pool of mentors to vetted, trained volunteers of all ages
• Launching an online version of the program for adult learners
• Translating all program materials into Spanish as well as English
• Incorporating virtual meeting tools for mentoring lessons to enable remote learning

Population(s) Served
Parents
Children and youth
Adults

Where we work

Awards

Youth Thrive 2009

from Great Nonprofits

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of reading mentoring learners

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Children and youth

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

The Barbara Bush Foundation’s reading mentorship programs provides learners with age specific books, parent guides, and teacher/mentor guides to accompany each program.

Number of mentoring sessions

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Adults

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Mentors and mentees meet weekly for one hour, one on one sessions, focused on improving reading skills. Numbers are based on full school year.

Digital Literacy Participant Engagement

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The Foundation offers access to digital literacy tools that can provide literacy lessons, books, and in some cases, live education coaches with no internet, data plan, or classroom required.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy is committed to building a stronger, more equitable America through literacy. We work towards this mission by designing programs and interventions that support key pillars of the organization’s strategic framework:

Innovate and Incubate: Foster innovation and incubate technological advances in adult literacy to accelerate the implementation of effective literacy strategies and resources.
Reach and Access: Scale evidence-based practices and resources in adult and family literacy.
Educate: Promote awareness and engage the public to participate in efforts to solve our nation’s literacy crisis.
Impact: Measure and report on the progress and social impacts of investments ensuring transparency, accountability, and continuous improvement.

Every Barbara Bush Foundation program and initiative utilizes evidence-based learning theory, and is continually evaluated to assess impact. Our commitment to measurement and accountability provides critical data that informs not only our work, but the work of the entire field, and ensures better outcomes for the families and communities we serve. Our results-driven initiatives include:

• Technology: We believe that technology and innovation can help us meet families where they are. We are committed to developing and scaling solutions that can reach learners where they live, work, play, and pray, expanding opportunities for learning beyond the traditional classroom. The Foundation is working to bring groundbreaking edtech tools like mobile apps and artificial intelligence to market for adult learners.
• Reading Mentoring Programs: The Barbara Bush Foundation has offered reading mentoring programs in 18 states and the District of Columbia providing opportunities for parents and children to work with mentors to improve their literacy skills. Over our history, we have provided more than 513,000 books to nearly 35,000 struggling readers. We continue to develop and scale new programs designed around mentoring from Pre-K through adults, which is a research-proven strategy for boosting reading skills.

• Research and Awareness: We also invest in research to create the knowledge and evidence bases that we need to move the needle on this crisis and improve outcomes. It is absolutely critical that we “put a face” on the problem by pinpointing the people and places that it impacts directly.

- Our Adult Literacy Gap Map (map.barbarabush.org) visually represents the relationship of literacy to health, income, and education nationwide—literally putting low literacy and its devastating effects on the map at a county-by-county level to inform resource development and decision making.

- A first-of-its-kind economic study commissioned by the Barbara Bush Foundation recently assessed the issue at a macroeconomic level. This analysis of our Gap Map data, conducted by Gallup economists, found that the U.S. could be losing a staggering $2.2 trillion in gross domestic product (GDP) due to low adult literacy rates.

- Our Barbara Bush Fellows program fuels critical literacy research. These two-year grants support academic research that will help increase learning, accelerate innovation, and incubate the most effective initiatives, as well as explore the most pressing questions faced by literacy practitioners today.

• Convener and Thought Leader: In our role as a thought leader and convener, we are working to build a national movement focused on innovation and investment in the field of adult and family literacy. We have commissioned a cross-sector task force of experts from both inside and outside of the literacy sphere to create a National Action Plan for Adult Literacy, which will be launched in 2021.

Our approach aims to build upon the Barbara Bush Foundation’s strengths from the past thirty years, while prioritizing and focusing on projects and activities that lead to data driven outcomes and scalable approaches. As we evolve, we are identifying new evidence-based practices, to achieve improved outcomes for low literate adults and families. However, we see literacy as intrinsically linked to complex issues of equity, access, economic mobility, workforce development, health, and gender. Therefore, our programs collaborate with partners and stakeholders across the spectrum for a collective and wholistic approach to sustainable solutions.

A few key accomplishments and focuses of the Foundation include:
Teen Trendsetters – Teen Trendsetters® is among the Barbara Bush Foundation’s longest-running programs. The Barbara Bush Foundation has supported more than 1,600 Teen Trendsetters programs in 18 states, providing more than 513,000 books to nearly 35,000 struggling readers. Over 37,000 mentors have volunteered more than 675,000 hours to help their mentees improve their reading, with outstanding results.

Overall, mentees progress one grade level or more in reading after seven months in the Teen Trendsetters program. A five-year meta-analysis of the results of the Teen Trendsetters program in Florida concluded that, in conjunction with their participation in Teen Trendsetters, these students began to close the gap with their peers. Specifically, mentees showed between 18% and 31% more growth in their reading skills than one would expect for the average student.


Technology and Innovation – We believe that technology can help us meet families where they are. In 2015, the Barbara Bush Foundation made history by incentivizing the development of mobile apps to help adults learn to read anytime, anywhere. Now, we are working to put these groundbreaking apps into the hands of learners nationwide. We have incorporated an award-winning adult literacy app into our literacy programs, and we serve as founding partner in a national initiative aimed at distributing the app to one million adults in the next year. To guide and accelerate our technology-focused efforts, we have enlisted the expertise of our Technology Advisory Council. This group provides critical input that will shape not only our work, but the trajectory of the entire adult literacy field in the years to come.

COVID-19 Relief – Amid the COVID-19 crisis, the Foundation has channeled our 30+ years of expertise in family literacy into supporting America’s low-literate families, who have been among the hardest hit. We were pleased to be recognized by both Forbes and Fortune for the at-home online learning toolkits we created to help students of all ages navigate these challenging times.

Looking ahead:
In today’s increasingly digital environment, successful literacy programs must leverage innovation to meet learners where they are—expanding beyond the traditional classroom environment. While there are many solutions available for K-12 children, very few existing tools meet the unique needs of parents and adult learners.

The Barbara Bush Foundation will continue its groundbreaking work to bridge this gap by identifying and scaling educational technology solutions for adults, including mobile apps and artificial intelligence, investing expertise to optimize tools, assisting with pilots and comprehensive evaluations, and helping to bring promising solutions to market.

Financials

Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, Inc.
lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 3/17/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Peggy Conlon

Former President & CEO, Ad Council


Board co-chair

Honorary Chair Doro Bush Koch

Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy

David Bere

Consultant

Jean Becker

Former Chief of Staff to George H.W. Bush

Tricia Reilly Koch

BB&R Wellness Consulting

Peggy Conlon

Former President & CEO, Ad Council

Bob Wise

Consultant

Jeb Bush, Jr.

Jeb Bush and Associates

Doro Bush Koch

BB&R Wellness Consulting

Chris Frangione

TechUnited

LaMar Bunts

The Beanstalk Initiative

Christine Pina

Miss Porter's School for Girls

David Risher

Worldreader

Denine Torr

Dollar General Foundation

Gwynn Virostek

Consultant

Lori Wachs

Springboard Growth Capital

Lynn Hirshfield

Participant Media

Rachel Mushahwar

Amazon Web Services

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 03/17/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American/African
Gender identity
Female
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data