Barbara Bush Foundation announces new literacy program

KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Barbara Bush has been known to read children's books to Maine kids, but her next mission is to get them reading together.

In a press conference Thursday afternoon, members of the Barbara Bush Foundation announced the expansion of the Teen Trendsetters program.

It's a mentoring program that already exists in several other states. The Bush Foundation will be bringing it to 20 Maine school districts this fall, with a goal of reaching 800 students.

High School volunteers are paired with elementary school mentees, who are at least six months behind in reading levels.

The foundation provides 15 science-based books for the pair to read together, meeting once a week.

In other states, the Teen Trendsetters program has shown an average of one grade level improvement in reading for a mentee after one year.

Interested schools can apply by visiting

The deadline to apply is July 7th.


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