The Barbara Bush Foundation partnered with the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens to cohost the gardens’ 15th annual Literacy Day on Monday, November 14. The gathering immersed more than 200 students from local Title I schools in a fun, engaging day of reading-focused programming.
“Fostering a love of reading in children is one of the most important things we can do to set them up for success – not only in school, but in life,” said British A. Robinson, president and CEO of the Barbara Bush Foundation. “We applaud the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens’ commitment to providing fun, educational experiences that impact the lives of local students and families, and we’re thrilled to partner with them in this vital work.”
“The mission of Literacy Day is specifically designed to inspire every student to embrace the impact of becoming a lifelong reader,” said Frances Fisher, board chairwoman for Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens. “In our 15th year of hosting this very special event, we are proud to partner with the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. Our organizations have a shared interest in improving the lives of children through reading. This interactive and immersive program is designed to push the boundaries of traditional education while children get to explore and learn throughout the Gardens’ tropical surroundings.”
Students in kindergarten through third grade from Glades Academy and Roosevelt Elementary School had the opportunity to interact with artists, entertainers, storytellers and popular children’s authors, including Kat Zhang and Naaz Khan.
Kat Zhang is the author of multiple books for children and young adults, including “The Hybrid Chronicles” series, “The Emperor’s Riddle,” and “The Memory of Forgotten Things.” She is also the author of four picture books for young readers, “Amy Wu & the Perfect Bao,” “Amy Wu & the Patchwork Dragon,” “Amy Wu & the Warm Welcome,” and “Amy Wu & the Ribbon Dance.”
“I was so honored to be invited to Literacy Day,” said Zhang. “Virtual events have been a lifesaver during the pandemic, but there’s something magical about gathering in person, especially with children, to read a story together. The beautiful gardens made everything even more special.”
Author and educator Naaz Khan’s debut picture book, “Room for Everyone,” was released in 2021. In addition to writing children’s books, she serves as an education coordinator for a Washington, D.C.-based literacy organization that connects young people with authors, illustrators and books.
Colgate-Palmolive, a member of the Barbara Bush Foundation’s Corporate Advisory Council, attended as well, providing educational activities, books and dental hygiene kits for participating children.
About the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy: The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy has been the nation’s leading advocate for family literacy for more than three decades. Established by former First Lady Barbara Bush in 1989, the Foundation is a public charity dedicated to creating a stronger, more equitable America in which everyone can read, write and comprehend in order to navigate the world with dignity. To learn more, visit www.BarbaraBush.org.
About the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens: The Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens is a non-profit foundation established in 1977 by resident sculptor Ann Weaver Norton (1905-1982). A two-acre urban sanctuary and nationally recognized arboretum, the compound comprises the historic Norton House and Artist Studio, exhibition galleries, monumental sculptures, butterfly havens, propagation house, and tropical gardens of more than 250 species of rare palms and cycads. The Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens’ mission is to enrich lives with nature, art and history. For more information, please visit ansg.org.