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Barbara Pierce Bush was born on June 8, 1925, grew up in Rye, New York, attended Smith College, and married George Bush on January 6, 1945. They have five children: George W., Jeb, Neil, Marvin, and Dorothy; four daughters-in-law and one son-in-law; and 13 grandchildren.
Mrs. Bush has chosen the promotion of literacy and reading as special areas of focus. Among her many affiliations with literacy groups, she continues as an honorary sponsor of Laubach Literacy Volunteers and is a member of the National Advisory Council of Literacy Volunteers of America, Inc. and an honorary member of the Advisory Council of Reading is Fundamental.
Mrs. Bush has appeared on "Mrs. Bush's Story Time," a national radio program emphasizing the importance of reading aloud to children. She has written two books, C. Fred's Story and Millie's Book, whose proceeds benefit adult and family literacy programs.
Mrs. Bush is honorary chairperson of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, and organization whose mission is to support the development of family literacy programs, break the intergenerational cycle of illiteracy, and establish literacy as a value in every family in America.
As part of her efforts to bring recognition to outstanding literacy and education programs, Mrs. Bush visited countless libraries, schools, adult and family literacy programs, and businesses that provided for employee education and skills improvement. She particularly encouraged private sector support of education and literacy and spoke widely at conventions, symposiums, and meetings where literacy and learning were the focus. Mrs. Bush corresponded with thousands of children and adult learners, professionals, and parents who wanted to share goals and achievements with her.
As an advocate for volunteer, community, and corporate support of schools, Mrs. Bush served as honorary chairman of the National Association of Partners in Education and the Washington Parent Group Fund. She took a particular interest in the problem of learning disabilities and encouraged many national organizations that seek greater public awareness and effective treatment of learning disabilities.
She also sought wider public awareness and support for other programs that help children and strengthen families, serving as honorary chairman of organizations for child abuse prevention, adoption, and child safety.
Mrs. Bush spent many years as an active volunteer for a variety of causes and remains a strong advocate for volunteerism.
Mrs. Bush is an exercise enthusiast, and she greatly enjoys reading, gardening, needlepointing, and being with her family.