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The Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries Awards more than $850,000 in First Round of Grants to School Libraries Devastated by Recent Disasters

School Libraries to receive up to $135,000 to help rebuild book and print collections

January 11, 2018

Dallas, TX – Today, The Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries announced the first round of 2017 Disaster Relief Initiative grants totaling more than $850,000 will be distributed to 17 school libraries damaged or destroyed during Hurricane Harvey.

 “Just like we did after Hurricane Katrina, The Laura Bush Foundation is committed to rebuilding school library collections that have been devastated during disasters we witnessed last fall,” said Mrs. Laura Bush. “As a former librarian, I know school libraries are important to improving student achievement, and with the first round of grants from the 2017 Disaster Relief Initiative, these schools can start on the path to full recovery.”

The schools receiving grants will also benefit with discounts on new books and materials generously offered by Scholastic Inc., Follett School Solutions, and Mackin Educational Resources. Thanks to a $150,000 restricted grant from the Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief Fund of The Dallas Foundation, the Laura Bush Foundation is able to award $135,000 to two elementary schools in Orange, TX—Little Cypress Elementary and Mauriceville Elementary—to replace a complete collection of books and printed materials. Another 15 school libraries in Texas that were damaged in Hurricane Harvey will receive grants ranging from $1,500 to $70,000.

In response to a shattering season of storms and wildfires, The Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries established the 2017 Disaster Relief Initiative to help rebuild school libraries that were damaged or destroyed in recent natural disasters in Texas, Florida, California, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. In addition to directing approximately $1 million of its resources to the 2017 Disaster Relief Initiative, the Laura Bush Foundation continues to fundraise for the school library rebuilding efforts. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, and grants will continue to be awarded all over the Nation to help replace book and print collections in America’s school libraries.

The 2017 Disaster Relief Initiative is the second time the Laura Bush Foundation has assisted in disaster relief efforts. The “Gulf Coast School Library Recovery Initiative,” created and raised as a separate and special fund, helped rebuild school library collections affected by the devastation of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. The Laura Bush Foundation awarded nearly $6.5 million in grants to 124 schools in the Gulf Coast area between 2006 and 2012.

“We will continue to fundraise tirelessly for the 2017 Disaster Relief Initiative, and I encourage librarians
in regions that have seen disaster to apply for funding,” said Mrs. Laura Bush. “To everyone affected,
you have the support of your neighbors from across the nation, and we know that with your hard work
and can-do spirit, your schools and communities will thrive again.”

For more information on how to support or apply to the 2017 Disaster Relief Initiative, please visit www.laurabushfoundation.org.

The Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries provides grants of up to $7,000 to our Nation’s neediest schools so they can extend, update, and diversify the book and print collections in their libraries with the goal of encouraging students to develop a love of reading and learning.  Since its inception in 2002, it has awarded over $14.3 million to more than 2,700 schools across the country.

In 2014, The Laura Bush Foundation transitioned from the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region in Washington, D.C. to the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas, where it is managed as a restricted fund.

The 2017 Disaster Relief Initiative

AC Blunt Middle School—Aransas Pass, TX

True Cross Catholic School—Dickinson, TX

Galena Park Elementary School—Galena Park, TX

Beth Yeshurun Day School—Houston, TX

Lutheran South Academy—Houston, TX

S.C. Red Elementary School—Houston, TX

Hull-Daisetta Elementary School—Hull, TX

Mauriceville Elementary—Orange, TX

Little Cypress Elementary School—Orange, TX

Orangefield Elementary School—Orange, TX

Brundrett Middle School—Port Aransas, TX

Port Aransas High School—Port Aransas, TX

Olsen Elementary—Port Aransas, TX

Little Bay Primary—Rockport, TX

Henderson Middle School—Sour Lake, TX

Vidor Middle School—Vidor, TX

Oak Forest Elementary School—Vidor, TX