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South Florida Teen Trendsetters Indulge in Sweet Success During National Mentor Month

For Immediate Release:

~Barbara Bush Foundation and Target Applaud Work of Young Readers and Leaders~

Davie, Fla. (Jan. 31, 2014)— Young readers, who are part of the Teen Trendsetters™ Reading Mentors program at Davie Elementary School, gathered yesterday for a special National Mentor Month session. Along with their high school mentors, representatives from Target, a key funder of the programs in Florida, joined the students to “Celebrate the Sweet Success of Mentoring.” Teen Trendsetters is a statewide program operated by the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy that promotes reading, leadership and community service.

TT & Target (8)“Being a member of Teen Trendsetters has taught me not only how to be a leader and mentor, but also how much our program helps the children we read with every week,” said Kaitlyn DeValk, Teen Trendsetters lead teen. “This program gives me a chance to make a difference in my community, starting with the children at Davie Elementary.”

Once trained, the volunteer teen mentors spend regular, one-on-one time with a 1st, 2nd or 3rd grader who struggles with reading. The mentees are hand-selected by their teachers and are typically six months behind in reading. The program teaches reading through books about the sciences, including animals, weather and famous scientists. The younger students also receive 15 books to build a home library and promote reading time with their parents. On average, our mentees gain reading skills faster than their peers who are not in the program, improving more than one grade level in less than a school year.

TT & Target (2)Currently there are 100 Teen Trendsetters programs benefiting Florida students this year. Target has provided funding to help support the Barbara Bush Foundation (formerly Volunteer USA Foundation) and its quest to improve the literacy skills of young readers. The grant is part of Target’s ongoing efforts to build strong, safe and healthy communities across the country. As part of this commitment, Target is on track to give $1 billion for education by the end of 2015 to help kids learn, schools teach and parents and caring adults engage.

“At Target, we are committed to serving local communities where we do business,” said Laysha Ward, President, Community Relations, Target. “That’s why we are proud to partner with the Barbara Bush Foundation’s Teen Trendsetters program as we work to strengthen communities and enrich the lives of our guests and team members.”

After spending quality time reading, the students were rewarded for their hard work with a sweet treat. Their friends from Target scooped up ice cream for the eager young readers and leaders. And, the mentees and mentors shared their appreciation with a personalized banner for Target.

TT & Target (1)“Today we send a big thank

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you to our Teen Trendsetters who work each week to help struggling elementary students become better readers,” said Heather Brinkworth, Barbara Bush Foundation Representative. “We are grateful for supporters like Target who believe in the power of reading. With their help, we continue our quest to help Florida’s children read at or above grade level by the end of third grade.”

For more information about the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy and Teen Trendsetters™ Reading Mentors, please visit BarbaraBush.org.

 

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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