City of Houston press release:

Press release from the mayor’s office

The Houston Blueprint for Adult Literacy provides data, strategies, and community action tactics to equip adults with the tools and skills necessary to learn to read

(Left to right) Neil Bush, Founder and Co-Chair of the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, Cat Tramuto, Manager of Deloitte, Federico Salas-Isnardi, Director of the Mayor’s Office for Adult Literacy, Mayor Sylvester Turner, Dr. Rhea Brown Lawson, director of the Houston Public Library, and Dr. Julie Baker Finck, director of the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation.

January 26, 2021 – The Mayor’s Office for Adult Literacy (MOAL) and the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation (Foundation) today announced a joint initiative to increase adult literacy rates and ensure that more Houstonians have an equal opportunity to participate fully in our society and involve the workforce.

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The Houston Blueprint for Adult Literacy, signed by the Foundation with the commitment of Deloitte Consulting, LLP and support from EOG Resources, the Greater Houston Community Foundation and Phillips 66, will for the first time describe a strategic and coordinated citywide plan to ensure this is the case for adults in our community get a second chance in life by developing strong basic, language and digital skills as well as essential skills of the workforce.

“With one in three Houston residents illiterate, the combined efforts of the Mayor’s Office for Adult Literacy and the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation are critical to transforming the lives of adults who cannot read,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “This public-private partnership will strengthen the capacity of our network of adult literacy providers and our commitment to the functional illiterate in our city, empowering these citizens to contribute to their communities, families and livelihoods.”

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“More than 30 years ago, my late mother, Barbara Bush, began campaigning for adult literacy in our country because she firmly believed that illiterate people deserve a second chance to live the American dream and live to their full potential in the Realizing Life, “said Neil Bush, founder and co-chair of the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation. “Maria and I are excited to join the rest of the Board of Trustees in making this important investment, and to work with Mayor Turner, the Mayor’s Office for Adult Literacy, the Houston Public Library and a variety of community literacy organizations in our city, to change forever the lives of so many adults who are currently living in the shadows and unable to fully participate in our society and the global economy. “

“This is the time when the public and private sectors come together to rethink our efforts to address the literacy problems of the 21st century,” said Federico Salas-Isnardi, Director of MOAL. “The pandemic has forced us to rethink our business operations, but we are strong. Houston is the only major city in the country where the mayor’s office includes an adult literacy office. With this support linked to adult literacy.” in Houston Blueprint, literacy provider, will be better positioned to implement creative solutions using digital technology and prepare adults for a brighter future. “

Literacy affects almost every aspect of life. However, one in three adults in Harris County is illiterate, and more than 130 million adults in the US have reached an adequate fourth grade, according to the latest results of the International Adult Skills Assessment Program (PIAAC) from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

The development of Houston’s Blueprint for Adult Literacy takes place over a period of three months and includes data and research analysis as well as a series of focus groups and interviews with cross-industry executives – corporations, nonprofits, government agencies, philanthropists and educational institutions. It will also build on the special report, titled Houston’s Literacy Crisis: A Draft Community Action, published by the Foundation in 2014, which broadened the focus on digital literacy and integrated skills of the workforce.

About the Mayor’s Office for Adult Education (MOAL)
On September 17, 2019, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner officially opened the Mayor’s Office for Adult Literacy (MOAL). The MOAL will focus on increasing advocacy and awareness about adult literacy and its impact on our economies, communities, families and individuals. The MOAL will also promote awareness, advocacy and capacity building for adult education and adult education, as well as providers and providers in the city of Houston. The opening of the office was made possible by a generous grant from CITGO Petroleum Corporation. For more information about the Mayor’s Office for Adult Literacy, please visit You can also get in touch with the MOAL team by email at [email protected] or on Facebook at, Twitter: @ adultliteracyh1 and Instagram: @HouAdultLiteracy.

Via the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation
The Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded by Neil and Maria Bush to pursue First Lady Barbara Bush’s literacy legacy and to focus intensely on the intergenerational cycle of hometown low literacy of the Bush family. The Barbara Bush Foundation’s mission is based on Mrs. Bush’s belief that “when you help a person read, the possibilities in life are endless.” The Barbara Bush Foundation’s mission is to improve lives through the power of literacy – the ability to read, write and speak clearly, and think critically. The foundation is committed to literacy efforts in the greater Houston area, raising awareness of the value and importance of literacy, mobilizing volunteers and resources to build critical capacity for community literacy providers, and investing in local literacy programs and services that do support Children and families in developing strong reading and writing skills for success. For more information, please visit or follow us on Facebook at, on Twitter @bushhoustonlit and on Instagram @bushhoustonlit.

Via the Houston Public Library
The Houston Public Library (HPL) operates 37 neighborhood libraries, three HPL Express libraries, a central library, the Houston Metropolitan Research Center, the Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research, the African American Library at the Gregory School, and the Parent Resource Library at the Children’s Museum at Houston. With more than eight million visits per year in person and online, HPL is committed to excellent customer service and fair access to information and programs by providing library customers with a diverse collection of printed and electronic resources, internet, laptops and computers for free use and a Wide variety of database and reference resources with live support online 24/7.

For more information, visit the Houston Public Library at or call 832-393-1313.

This press release was produced by the City of Houston. The views expressed here are the author’s own.