January 20th, 2016


The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy Hosts Mentors and Mentees During National Mentoring Month

The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy hosted an event on Thursday, January 14 to celebrate the Teen Trendsetters programs that were recently launched in Jackson. These programs are instrumental in helping struggling elementary school children improve their reading skills.

Attending from JA were our 15 mentors, Board of Trustees Chair Ashley Willson, and staff members Audrey Wilkirson, Paula Pratt, Amy Bush, and Michelle Mills.


January is National Mentoring Month, which is a perfect opportunity to highlight the importance and success of these critical mentoring programs. The Teen Trendsetters programs consist of volunteer teen mentors who help young mentees who are six months or more behind their peers in reading. For the 2015-16 school year, the foundation established 11 Teen Trendsetters programs in Jackson, where elementary schools partnered with local middle and high schools. JA and Murrah High School are partnered with Spann Elementary.

“We’re so happy to be working in partnership with these schools to help struggling young readers in Jackson gain literacy skills that are absolutely critical for their success,” said Liza McFadden, CEO and President of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. “With 74 percent of fourth grade students in Mississippi reading below grade level, we know that these programs can have life-changing impact on these children and their community.”

Teens spend one-on-one time each week bonding with their young mentees while teaching them to read better and enjoy books. The Barbara Bush Foundation is the nation’s leading advocate for family literacy. To learn more about the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy’s commitment to promote family literacy in homes across America, please visit www.helpthemread.org or join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter (@BarbaraBushFdn)

For further reading, view the latest news coverage on the Barbara Bush Foundation and the JA Teen Trendsetters program below:

Mississippi Public Broadcasting The Clarion-Ledger Jackson Free Press