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Barbara Bush Foundation Celebrates State Farm Good Neighbor Citizenship Grant Benefiting Miami-Dade County Public Schools


Miami Beach, Fla. – The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy gathered local educators and students at Fienberg-Fisher K-8 Center on Wednesday, May 16, to celebrate the Teen Trendsetters™ program.

Teen Trendsetters is a family literacy program that pairs teen mentors with first- or second-grade students who are, on average, half a year behind in reading. Teens receive training as reading mentors, and meet regularly with their mentees for one-on-one mentoring sessions, using a curriculum specifically designed to improve children’s reading skills.

The Fienberg-Fisher program is one of more than 70 Teen Trendsetters programs in Florida, and one of the eight programs in Miami-Dade and Polk counties funded by a Good Neighbor Citizenship grant from State Farm.

Jose Soto, community public affairs specialist for State Farm, celebrated the grant award with a check presentation and a visit to a reading mentoring session at Fienberg-Fisher.

“State Farm is proud to be a longtime champion of the Teen Trendsetters program, having provided nearly $900,000 in grant support since 2004,” said Soto. “It’s always a joy to visit the programs we support and help celebrate these students’ amazing achievements.”

Teen Trendsetters programs are regularly evaluated by third-party, independent researchers, and achieve impressive results. In Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Teen Trendsetters mentees gained an average of 1.6 grade levels – or one and a half years – in reading skills over the course of the seven-month program, helping them close the gap with their peers.

“These students are building critical literacy skills that will position them for success in school and throughout their lives,” said Barbara Bush Foundation board of directors member and Miami resident Jeb Bush, Jr. “We’re so grateful to State Farm for helping us make a difference in Florida communities by investing in literacy.”

An independent return on investment study conducted by Florida TaxWatch found that the total economic and fiscal benefits of one year of the Teen Trendsetters program is $90,572,948. For every $1 of total funding invested in Teen Trendsetters, tax payers see an ROI of $7.83 in avoided social program costs.

The program also helps the mentees build a home library, providing them with 15 books that they can take home and read with their parents. Parents of mentees sign a contract agreeing to reinforce learning by listening to their child read at home.

Since 2002, the Teen Trendsetters program has reached more than 48,000 students, resulting in more than 465,000 volunteer/contact hours and more than 320,000 books distributed to mentees to become part of their at-home libraries.

About the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy: The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, a public charity, is the nation’s leading advocate for family literacy. The Foundation was established by Mrs. Barbara Bush in 1989, and today remains committed to her vision of fostering the opportunity for every man, woman and child to secure a better life through literacy. To learn more, visit www.barbarabush.org or join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter (@BarbaraBushFdn).

About State Farm: The mission of State Farm is to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected, and realize their dreams. State Farm and its affiliates are the largest providers of auto and home insurance in the United States. Its nearly 19,000 agents and nearly 65,000 employees serve more than 84 million policies and accounts – more than 81 million auto, fire, life, health and commercial policies, and more than 2 million bank accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 33 on the 2017 Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit http://www.statefarm.com.

Media Contact: Lauren Sproull, Director of Communications, at 850-562-5300 or lauren.sproull@barbarabush.org

Get in Touch

You may also contact us by phone at 850.562.5300 or by mail at:
Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy
516 North Adams Street • Tallahassee, Florida 32301