Barbara Bush Foundation to host National Celebration of Reading and National Summit on Adult Literacy in Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. — The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy announced today it will host two events – the National Celebration of Reading and National Summit on Adult Literacy – at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. this fall. The events, to be held November 12-13, 2019, will bring together members of the Bush family, best-selling authors and entertainers, philanthropists, education and business leaders and others to advance Barbara Bush’s literacy legacy.

“Thirty-six million adults in this country have unmet literacy needs, which impacts all aspects of their lives—from work to their health, their kids and even their ability to vote,” said British A. Robinson, president and CEO of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. “The National Celebration of Reading and Summit on Adult Literacy will bring together the nation’s top leaders and literacy advocates to find new solutions to this complex challenge and to continue Mrs. Bush’s commitment to ensuring everyone has an opportunity to learn to read.”

The Foundation’s marquee event, the National Celebration of Reading, will feature a lineup of best-selling and award-winning guest authors, including Jon Meacham, Jean Case, Jesse J. Holland, Eric Motley, Susan Orlean and Delia Owens—with other very special guests to be announced in the coming weeks. The Foundation’s Celebration of Reading events, held throughout the nation, have historically served to raise awareness of our country’s adult literacy crisis, raise funds in support of the Foundation’s work and celebrate the life-changing power of literacy. Ms. Wallis Annenberg will serve as Presenting Underwriter of this year’s special National Celebration of Reading, which will commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Foundation while continuing those traditions of past events.

“The legacy of the Barbara Bush Foundation’s Celebration of Reading runs deep, particularly in our nation’s capital,” said Tim and Anita McBride, co-chairs of the National Celebration of Reading. “This year’s celebration reminds us of the impact Barbara Bush had—both during and after her time as First Lady—to catalyze action around an important public policy issue and, ultimately, shape the nation’s focus on literacy. We are proud to play a role in honoring Mrs. Bush’s work and look forward to continuing her legacy.”

In addition to the National Celebration of Reading, the Foundation will host its inaugural National Summit on Adult Literacy on Wednesday, November 13. Special guest Ali Velshi of MSNBC will serve as emcee of the summit, which is being presented in sponsorship by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.

The summit will convene 200-300 adult and family literacy advocates, including: practitioners; researchers; policy makers; edtech experts; community-based organizations; corporate, foundation and philanthropic partners; and professional organizations, among others. These experts will gather with leaders from across related sectors and fields of civil liberties, corrections, finance, healthcare, social services, innovation and technology, and workforce development, providing the opportunity to share perspectives and discuss approaches to solving our nation’s literacy crisis. By bringing together this diverse audience, the Barbara Bush Foundation aims to create a framework for addressing unmet literacy needs by meeting adult learners where they live, work, play and pray.


About the Barbara Bush Foundation or Family Literacy: The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy has been the nation’s leading advocate for family literacy for three decades. The Foundation was established by former First Lady Barbara Bush in 1989, inspired by her vision of fostering the opportunity for every man, woman and child to secure a better life through literacy. Today the Foundation is a public charity that remains committed to Mrs. Bush’s vision, providing innovative programs and services to ensure every American has the opportunity to learn to read and write. To learn more, visit

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