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Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy to Host 2019 Florida Celebration of Reading in Miami

Gov. Jeb Bush, Dave Barry, Brad Meltzer and Susan Page will honor the life of Barbara Bush and announce the winners of the Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE presented by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation

Miami, Florida (Tuesday, February 5, 2019) – The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy will host the Florida Celebration of Reading – Miami at 6:30 p.m. on February 7, 2019, aboard SeaFair Miami located in Biscayne Bay. Since its launch by former Governor Jeb Bush in 2001, the Florida Celebration of Reading has gathered community leaders, best-selling authors and supporters annually to celebrate the life-changing power of literacy.

Over the past 30 years, the Foundation—established by former First Lady Barbara Bush to ensure every American has the opportunity to learn to read and write—has provided $110 million in support for literacy programs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Funds raised from the Celebration of Reading events support the Foundation’s literacy initiatives nationwide, which currently include 34 programs in South Florida.

To mark its 30th anniversary year, at this year’s event the Foundation will celebrate the legacy of Barbara Bush and feature an outstanding lineup of best-selling and award-winning guest authors, including:

Dave Barry, who has been a professional humorist ever since he discovered that professional humor was a lot easier than working. Barry wrote a newspaper column that appeared in more than 500 newspapers – where he received numerous reader complaints. A Pulitzer Prize winner for commentary, Barry has written more than 30 books, including the novels Big Trouble, Lunatics, Tricky Business, and, most recently, Insane City. He has also written I’ll Mature When I’m Dead, which is technically classified as nonfiction. Two of Barry’s books were the basis for the CBS sitcom Dave’s World. Photography credit: Daniel Portnoy


Brad Meltzer, the No. 1 New York Times best-selling author of The Inner Circle, The Book of Fate and 11 other thrillers. His latest thriller, The Escape Artist, also debuted at No. 1 on the best-seller list. In addition to his fiction, Brad is among the few authors to ever have books on the best-seller list for nonfiction. Brad was recently named by the Hollywood Reporter as one of Hollywood’s 25 Most Powerful Authors. He is also the host of “Brad Meltzer’s Lost History” on H2 and “Brad Meltzer’s Decoded” on the History Channel.


Susan Page, Washington Bureau chief for USA Today, where she writes about politics and the White House. She has reported from six continents, covered 10 presidential elections, and interviewed the past nine presidents. Her book, The Matriarch: Barbara Bush and the Making of an American Dynasty, will be published by Twelve in April 2019. Page has won every journalism award given specifically for coverage of the White House, and she has also served as president of the White House Correspondents Association and of the Gridiron Club, the oldest association of journalists in Washington.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will also appear to announce the grand prize winners of the $7M Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE presented by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. Launched in 2015 on Mrs. Bush’s 90th birthday, this groundbreaking competition incentivized the development of mobile technology to help low-literate adults learn anytime, anywhere. Phase II of the Adult Literacy XPRIZE, the Communities Competition, is currently underway and will wrap up in fall 2019. The Barbara Bush Foundation will also conduct a technical evaluation to assess the effectiveness of mobile apps to impact learning, both outside of and within the adult literacy classroom.

The Barbara Bush Foundation thanks the 2019 Florida Celebration of Reading sponsors including: AT&T, Florida Crystals Corporation, Florida Lottery, Jim Moran Foundation, JM Family Enterprises, Inc., Maine Medical Center, Olympus Insurance, Peacock Foundation, Publix Super Markets Charities, Inc., and State Farm Insurance.

For more information about the 2019 Florida Celebration of Reading – Miami, including sponsorship opportunities or to purchase tickets, please visit https://www.barbarabush.org/Miami or contact Michael Thompson at 850-562-5300 or michael.thompson@BarbaraBush.org.

About Barbara Bush Foundation for 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 that every American has the opportunity to learn to read and write. To learn more, visit www.BarbaraBush.org.

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