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2009 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Literacy, Remedial Reading & Encouragement

Mission: Our mission is to establish literacy as a value in every home in America. Our vision is to achieve 100% literacy in America.

Results: For more than 25 years, this public charity has benefited thousands of families in America by supporting community classrooms where parents and their precious children learn and achieve together. The Barbara Bush Foundation has sponsored 1,500 family literacy programs in 50 states. We’re building a compassionate movement where we engage the public to be a part of the solution: with over 36 million adults in this country either illiterate or possessing extremely low reading skills – illiteracy IS America's Biggest Challenge. We believe literacy is a right that provides equal opportunity to achieving the American dream, which every child deserves. If we help the nation’s children get on the path to learning in the earliest years, even before they enter kindergarten, they are far more likely to succeed in school and life. We also believe in investing in low-literate parents who are unable to provide the stimulating learning environment that young children need to jumpstart their education. We help families understand: – The child’s first school is the home. – The parent is the child’s first teacher. – The child’s first subject is reading. The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy is focused on fulfilling its mission by providing low-income families across the nation with scholarships to learn together. We partner with a network of high-performing local family literacy programs that help both young children and their parents learn how to read and write. When families share a love of reading, children have a far greater chance to live more productive and healthier lives, graduate from high school and obtain a better job. Supporting family literacy programs is a win-win for parents and children where they acquire basic literacy skills that help them advance their education and provide greater opportunities to succeed.

Target demographics: Children and Families

Direct beneficiaries per year: 3,700 children and families

Geographic areas served: United States

Programs: Family Literacy programs that teach children and their parents to read and learn together. The Teen Trendsetters (TM) program pairs Middle School/High School student mentors with low-performing 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade students who are at least six months behind in reading.

Community Stories

198 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My students go to a local elementary class to help students increase their reading skills. They are considered at risk and with the extra attention the youngsters form positive relationships and get intensive vocabulary, main idea, pronouncing words and other reading building blocks to improve their reading levels. TTRM is a great program that has varying levles of reading materials that students are interested in and after a book is completed, the students can take the book home with them to share with other brothers or sisters and reread it themselves.

Previous Stories
8

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My classes in Marion County have been mentoring elementary students for the past three years. This program has been so positive for both the teenagers invovled and their mentees. My students are intent on helping their mentees improve their reading and as a whole reading scores on the FCAT have improved. The relationships that are forged last well beyond the classroom. My students return to class talking about their "mentee" and the third graders go home and tell their parents about their "mentor". It is truly a worthwhile program with postive results for both the mentee and mentor.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Promoting literacy by reading to kindergardeners- abosulutely loved reading to those little ones and can't wait to do it again. I may even start volunteering to read regularly! I think I got more from it than the kids did.

17

Client Served

Rating: 3

Our school hosted a Read. Love. Learn training session for parents. Parents received materials that they could use at home to help their children with reading.

15

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer with the Teen CERT program. I help now, but want to be trained as a trainer.

16

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a parent my daughter has really advanced herself thru the Teen Trendsetter program. Shes gone out of her way to not only help, but in doing so expanding her own skills and knowledge. Shes become a better, student, friend, leader, and shes always been a great daughter but now shes just amazing. I think Volunteer USA Foundation is an amazing organization and I hope that you expand yourselves. You have done so much for me and my family, now my wife volunteers and I try to volunteer but its my wife and two daughters that do it now. Thank you so much for everything you did for us.

17

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Volunteer USA consistently partners with corporate sponsors who are aligned their mission, serving children in need. These partnerships allow the Foundation to donate books, supplies and curriculum for multiple programs that impact families and communities.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer Teen CERT Instructor. Do to this organizations efforts the CERT program has been modified for teen intrest.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Volunteer USA funds family literacy programs that impacted family throughout the state of Florida. I have witnessed this first hand through my on going relationship with their staff. I have been involved with their organization over the years and will continue to support them as they strive to meet the needs of underprivilaged families

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

It is a blessing to work alongside an organization that does literacy, mentoring and disaster preparedness programming as successful as Volunteer USA does. They are highly respected organization that creates and manages services/programming producing real measurable results, success stories and the backing of local, state and national partners and sponsors. I am so proud to be in this field with such professionals and look forward to what this org's future has to offer my field.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am fortunate enough to live near one of the family literacy academies and I think it is absolutely wonderful that Volunteer USA partners with nearby universities and colleges in providing a parent and his or her child with a scholarship. Impacted by supportive staff and an exemplary curriculum, the recipients of these scholarships are so very deserving, working so hard while still instilling the fundamentals of early education in their children. Dreams do come true.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I attended a family literacy event in central florida and witnessed the celebration for four adults that had completed their literacy program and passed their graduation exam to earn their G.E.D. It was an awesome experience to see the look on the their families faces!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've seen first-hand the impact Volunteer USA's Family Literacy Program's, have had in the lives of families through the delivery of their ESOL, parent-training, adult education, parent training services. The program has helped a couple of my relatives that have migrated to the USA from Colombia in the last few years, by teaching them basic English skills and this has helped them acquire employment.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I think Volunteer USA does a great job teaching teenagers how to be good volunteers through the Teen Reading Mentors program. The high school kids get trained to help elementary school kids learn to read better. Way to go!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteer teacher familiar with the love,read,learn and teen trendsetters programs aimed at improving educational outcomes for students. Teachers in our schools cannot do all the work-it is great to have nonprofit step in to promote education and literacy among parents and kids.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Am a longtime volunteer, especially advocating for children who have disabilites. I am impressed with VOlunteer USA's many programs to help families with children who are deaf and in promoting many educational efforts.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I did a job at one of their events and got to see first hand what a difference this organization does in young people's life! The trainers came across very positive and had immediatly a good report w. the Teens.

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am the father of a high school student who participated in Teen Trendsetters. My daughter really grew from this volunteer experience. I saw her take a leadership role and go the extra mile to help a young boy with his struggles in the classroom.

5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I belong to a partner organization that established a family literacy program in my community. So many families today are so overwhelmed with trying to make ends meet that they don't budget important time to be their child's first teacher. They say it is easy to fall into the idea that it is the school's job to provide their child with all the necessary tools they need to learn. After learning about the important role that parents play in making their home a learning place, life changing behaviors start taking place. Responsiblity for being their child's first teacher starts to emerge and magic happens. This program truly changes lives for families and the premire beneficiary is children. Changing literacy rates in the US starts with families/parents/caregivers. This program is the proof in the pudding.

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'm a teacher and attended a workshop for parents to learn how to be good teachers at home to their kids. LoveReadLearn was the best workshop i have seen for parents of elementary children. This was our best attended training and the moms and dads were really excited.

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I attended an event of the Deaf Family Literacy Academy, A volunteer USA Program last weekend and I learned so much from the deaf panelists. I walked away informed about deaf culture. I support this organization because they support families who have deaf children.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a quality organization. The Deaf Family Literacy Academy, A Volunteer USA Program, provides excellent and needed services.I have two children who are hard of hearing and now that they are older they volunteer with this organization and help the younger children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've experienced the valuable learning sessions provided by this organization in helping to develop early childhood reading. They teach parents techiniques for working with their child to develop reading skills. Their learning kits have the simplest of tools but keep you focused on learning how to do things in a creative way.

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I'm active on many youth fronts in Central Florida, and recently had a chance to see their president announce a new program that will be matching foster youth with an adult mentor. What an amazing program and I can't wait to see it grow and expand.

6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I plan to be a reading mentor in Volunteer USA's Teen Trendsetters program next year. I have watched and helped my older sister if the young boy she mentored. She loved to help him and he had real difficulties because he missed a lot of school when he had cancer.

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Became familiar with the work they do with the Teen Trendsetters reading program. My grandadughter became the leader of her high school program and we shared stories about the importance of giving back or charity and good causes. I am very proud of her

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

For the last two years, and for many years prior, I have seen the work of Volunteer USA and their ability to reach so many with the tools for success.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Worked with a teacher who was in charge of thier Teen Trendsetters reading program. What great way to get kids helping kids, especially in the area of reading...the most fundamental skill for kids to succeed in school.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Love.Read.Learn...... Super Program! Watching parents realize how much more they can do for their children's education is rewarding in itself. Knowing communication lines are opening... even better!

8

Client Served

Rating: 5

Teen trendsetters made a difference with my child. The extra practice that he got from working with his buddy made him confident.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

watching the self esteem of the High School Students, who are mentoring 3rd graders, grow as they went thru the program was incredible... Not only did Teen Trendsetters help 3rd grade students improve their reading skills, it built confidence in the leaders of tomorrow.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Teen trendsetters is without a doubt the premier teen leadership program in the nation. I have seen it change many lives. Thank you for every thing you do.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love the Teen Trendsetters program and the way it allows the teens to mentor one on one with elementary children to practice reading. They send home over 25 books to the kids home library.

8

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As a mom, I truly believe that early literacy is the best gift you can give to a child. Volunteer USA's Love. Read. Learn! program is outstanding. The staff is well trained and knowledgeable. It is impressive that the kit is curriculum based and that it aligns with specific items associated to its sponsors or the areas that it serves.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As Parent Involvement Coordinator for my school system Volunteer USA Foundation as allowed me to bring workshop to my system that have not been possible in the past.These workshops have allowed more parents to become involved in their child's school and education.Thank you Volunteer USA Foundation. Ron Humphrey

8

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am so proud of my daughter-in-law's involvement with VUSA because of its many mentoring and literacy programs. I am now a grandparent and hope that the quality programming provided by this organization continues to provide for children just like her.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For several years I have had the pleasure of working with Teecy and her staff at Teen Trensetters. Their passion and professionalism with this program is above anything I have ever experienced. They provide prompt support and are always willing to provide resources quickly and promptly. I am pleased to be a part of this great movement called Volunteer USA Foundation

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteer USA foundation has given my brother a way to serve our community. His accomplishments thru the foundation have helped him become a more well rounded individual. I thank your organization for all the hard work you do and continue to do.

5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The team at Volunteer USA is unparralel when it comes to reaching and serving families in need. I work in the hospital birthing center and impressed with the new baby journal, and even more impressed in staff member Michael Thompson, who is always available to make sure we have plenty of journals available.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the joy of going through the TEEN CERT program here in Tallahassee as an adult. The experience was EXCELLENT! The motivation and enthusiasm I saw in both the youth & the adults was great -- and the education provided during that training was priceless. It has moved both my sons to want to do more and be better prepared!

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteer USA foundation is committed to helping teens find an opportunity in their community to make a difference. Teen Cert training is working to educate teens in an empowering way that makes them feel useful and able to contribute in the face of a disaster. And Teen Trendsetters is an awesome way for teens to be teen change agents in their communities, helping younger children to become stronger readers. In a time when teens very often get a bad wrap I want to thank Volunteer USA for being so committed to the power and excitement of our youth as volunteers.

8

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am very impressed with the reading and early learning programs for children. I have a 2 and 4 year old and am always trying to find new and interesting ways to get them to learn and continue their excitement about reading. The information and tools provided to me were great and my children loved it!

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

teen cert showed me how to handle a situation without overreacting about it. They show me how to make splints out of different things around be.

7

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hello, we are TCB MARKETING, A direct mail business. we have been working with Volunteer USA Foundation on assisting them with their fullfillment work for kits that get shipped out to schools. These kits are a great asset for parents because they let the parents interact with their children and help them with their learning abilities.

7

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Volunteer USA makes a difference-- The Teen Trendsetters Reading Mentors Program positively impacts our entire school system and community. The excitement epressed by our high school youth regarding the volunteer committment to increase reading skills of 2nd and 3rd grade children is absolutely contagious! We started with two student volunteers in July and now we have 38 volunteers. Also, one of our Reading Mentors just won the the "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" Best Idea Contest resulting in 100 "Hungry Caterpillar" books being delivered to our elementary schools. Thumbs up to you Volunteer USA! Suzanne Boynton Fulmer Teacher, Bledsoe County High School Pikeville TN

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I attended the Leon County 4-H Teen CERT training in July. Our teens are more ready to help our community in a disaster.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have followed Vol. USA since its inception and personally know many of its leaders, volunteers. They do mighty work in inspiring people to action

5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I coordinate a family literacy program that is sponsored by Volunteer USA Foundation. The staff are dedicated to making a lasting difference in the lives of people with limited opportunities. Their support and resourcefulness has led to real changes for the families we work with. They are awesome!

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Through my involvement with the Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County, I have seen first-hand the wonderful work of Volunteer USA Foundation.

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

They have transformed volunteerism in the State of Florida by engaging experts and partners to tackle the big problems and address unmet needs.

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

What the Volunteer USA Foundation does for the people of Florida is really indispensable. They have a dedicated staff that works diligently day in and day out to make a difference in the lives of so many people. As a father of two young children, and a developer of electronic education courses, their work in literacy and education is personally inspiring. I would just like to say thanks for all they do.

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Michaei Thompson is great, he works with me on Volunteer USA with finacial reports and he and the staff at Volunteer USA are indispensible.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked with Volunteer's teen trendsetter program that helps teens help their community by helping little kids learn to read. I also had the pleasure of working with Venita Dorsey. She is a great mentor and fun to work with. I hope I get another opportunity to work with Venita again!

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience with Volunteer USA has been outstanding. They are always ready to answer questions and the quick response on shipping was amazing.

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Volunteer USA's Family Literacy Initiative is a neccesity for this region of the country. The organization is making tremendous strides in training parents and providing mentors to promote literacy. The entire staff is highly motivated and focused on providing and improving core programs to enhance lives and build brighter futures.

4

Donor

Rating: 5

Volunteer USA has a vast out-reach and is doing so much for families throughout the Southeast. The "Ready or Not" hurricane preparedness program educates families on what to do before, during and after a disaster hit with a step by step instructional booklet/kit. The information is invaluable (how to reach FEMA, how to apply for disaster recovery funds, etc) especially to those families who are less fortunate than others. I have also particpated in Celebration of Reading and have seen how the Literacy Academies have helped so many parents earn their GED while their children are learning with them. The stories shared at the Celebration were inspirational, but more importantly, they were stories that underscored the value of such organizations as Volunteer USA>

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have seen this program in action. It is great and has many benefits for the elementary student as well as the high school student. The elementary student learns to read, but also gains a role model and self-confidence. The high school student learns leadership skills, responsibility and a love for volunteerism.

4

Client Served

Rating: 4

They provide reading inforamtion and books for families of newborns, which is a tremendous service for the community! The books and materials are provided at no cost to our hospital.

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked with Volunteer USA to increase the number of adult participating in one-on-one school mentoring partnerships. Volunteer USA has been instrumental in engageing mentors in meaningful activities, that enocurages mentors to remain active year after year. Our staff mentors are scheduled to participate in "Read for the Record" Thursday, October 8, 2009

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The founder and staff are exceptional - committed to helping AND competent. It's a great organization destined for an even greater future!

4

Former staff

Rating: 5

This is an amazing group of people who are extremely dedicated to making a difference in our country. Their literacy programs have grown leaps and bounds and make it fun and exciting for students and young adults to learn. In addition, their disaster recovery efforts have made a dramatic impact, especially in the state of Florida. Not only do they assist in disaster recovery, but they also have programs in place for disaster mitigation. All of the staff are honest and ethical individuals who take their responsibilities very personally.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Am amazinly efficient and helpful organization with an outstanding staff, helping with disasters, literacy and mentoring. TOP NOTCH in all they do!

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been working with this organization for 5 years as a high school liason that brings students to an elementary site for reading tutoring. When we first started using the program, teen trendsetters, in the elementary schools we noticed an immediate difference in both age groups...the elementary student was gaining confidence from having their mentor, reading skills were improving, and the students actually were excited about reading, learning, and being able to have a library of books AT HOME! One of the aspects that we did not count on was how many teenagers acting as mentors were feeling affected! The teens reported that the sense of responsibility and dedication that they felt towards this program was more than anything else that they had ever done. We were also excited that all of the students that were tutored at the elementary school made significant gains on their reading assessments after being tutored. My students LOVE this program and the support that Volunteer USA gives us b providing all books, workbooks, and teacher guides is OUTSTANDING! The fouundation is easy to reach when needed, willing to help, and committed to improving lives in our state!!!

7

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

What great work and assistance! Thank you for providing support materials for the Teen CERT Course. The improvements to the trainig materials and instructional methods have improved the delivery and acceptance by the teens. I truly look forward to having fun teaching the course.

7

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

thank you for what you do to help you in literacy, mentoring and preparing for disasters. A fantastic organization that does an awesome job of efficiently delivering services to those who need them.