Barbara Bush Foundation for Literacy impacts local reading program

Local woman pays it forward

BELLE GLADE, Fla. - Laura Calderon teaches English to adults in Belle Glade four days a week. 

Years ago, Calderon was sitting in a classroom taking the same class.

"I did not know how to read or write in English," said Calderon. And she got the chance of a lifetime, the chance to meet and talk with former First Lady Barbara Bush.

"She asked me what I wanted to be in the future and I said, 'I really love to help everyone in my classroom, so, I think I want to be a teacher.' Wonderful, what else do you need, you have everything in your hands."

The Barbara Bush Foundation gave the Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County grant money to fund classes for adults to learn the language.

Kristin Calder is the CEO.

"Barbara recognized as do we that parents are a child's first teacher," said Calder.

Mrs. Bush's vision of everyone learning to read stands true even today. Calder agrees.

"Just as Barbara Bush said in 1989 when she was first in the white house and the Literacy Coalition was just getting started as well, that students need to be able to learn to read before they can read to learn." Calderon said, "Education is a priority in our family, in our lives."

Print this article Back to Top