As First Lady of Texas, Laura Welch Bush has worked tirelessly to promote one of her primary interests - education. As First Lady of the United States, Mrs. Bush will continue to focus on this area that plays such an important role in our nation's future. Her background as a teacher and librarian and her lifelong passion for reading have been the motivating forces behind her education advocacy for all Texans - and now for all Americans.
In Texas, Mrs. Bush launched an early childhood development initiative in 1998 to help parents and caregivers prepare infants and young children for learning and reading when they enter school. The initiative includes a family literacy project for Texas - a collaborative effort with the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.
She also helped organize a celebration of Texas books and authors called the Texas Book Festival in 1996 that has since become an annual fundraiser for Texas public libraries. During the last four years, 352 Texas public libraries have received Texas Book Festival grants totaling $889,845.
Mrs. Bush has also been a champion of breast cancer awareness, working with the Governors Spouse Program of the National Governors Association to promote women's health. Mrs. Bush also serves on several boards, including the University of Texas Graduate School of Library and Information Science Foundation Advisory Council and the national Reading is Fundamental Advisory Council.