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Book Explorers

A reading mentoring program

Book Explorers is a reading mentoring program for first, second, and third graders. The program uses targeted strategies and activities to build literacy skills and confidence. Each book is accompanied by a parent guide full of fun, enriching activities to encourage children and their caregivers to learn together at home and a mentor guide that helps volunteer mentors make the most of their sessions.


The program is designed to support educators and caregivers with a supplementary literacy tool for enrichment or intervention and targets both the “summer slide,” a regression in academic proficiency due to summer break, and other similar learning gaps. Building on the success of our long-running, school-based reading mentoring program, ReadSquad (formerly Teen Trendsetters), Book Explorers can be used alone or in conjunction with the existing program to extend learning year-round.



supports a parent's critical role as their child’s “first and best teacher”


provides them with evidence based supplementary literacy tools


offers them volunteer and leadership opportunities

The Barbara Bush Foundation conducted a small summer pilot of this program in Maine, Texas, and Florida with a variety of implementation models including schools and community organizations. Starting in Fall 2021, the Book Explorers program will be available to schools and community organizations. The books and parent guides will also be accessible to parents and caregivers for free at the same time.

For more information or to discuss implementation for your school or organization, please contact bookexplorers@barbarabush.org.



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