First Lady Blog
Read Across America Day is a day celebrated each year on the birthday of Dr. Seuss and observed through ceremonies, special events and celebrations emphasizing the joys and importance of reading. As a former teacher and principal, I know that a good education starts by sharing with young Texans the joys of reading. Through sharing books with them and focusing on the importance of reading, we are equipping our schoolchildren with the tools necessary to build the strongest possible foundation for their education, and for the future of Texas. I have heard from many schools across Texas that will be participating tomorrow, and I hope all Texans will join in on the fun by grabbing your favorite book and sharing it with someone else.
It’s that time of year again in Austin for the annual fundraising extravaganza known as Amplify Austin! There are hundreds of Central Austin nonprofits participating in Amplify Austin this year, and your dollars go even further than you think because many of the monetary donations are matched by generous businesses and individuals. Through Amplify Austin, millions of dollars have been raised for local nonprofits – $35 million since the first campaign in 2013.
In Texas, we are all one family, even though we are a state formed by people of many different races, nationalities, religions and backgrounds. Throughout the month of February, we have celebrated the rich contributions of African-Americans to the Lone Star State and our history by declaring the month as “African-American History Month” here in Texas. Greg issued a proclamation in recognition of the celebration, and I encourage all Texans to take a moment to reflect on the contributions and achievements of African-Americans in Texas, and the way they have helped impact and shape our state and culture.
Heart disease, which includes strokes and other cardiovascular diseases, is the number one cause of death in our nation, yet many of us do not know the significant risk heart disease poses. That is why February has been proclaimed Heart Health Awareness Month in Texas, in order to inform Texans of the substantial threat heart disease poses and the importance of knowing personal risk factors and effective prevention strategies.
The 2017 Governor’s Volunteer Award Winner for Corporate Community Impact by a Small Business is Granite Properties, Inc., a commercial real estate development and investment firm. This award recognizes a small business that has made community engagement a priority, whether it is through employee volunteer programs, making community service as a core value and business strategy, or other ways. Founded in Dallas and later expanding to Houston and across the nation, since 1991 Granite Properties has had growing servant leaders as an integral part of its corporate fabric.
The Texas Governor’s Commission for Women announced last week that it is now accepting nominations for the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame. Established in 1984 by the Texas Governor’s Commission for Women, the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame includes former First Ladies, astronauts, Grammy-award-winning musicians, entrepreneurs and Olympic athletes. A permanent exhibit is housed at Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas. Nominations are open to any native or current residents of Texas, living or deceased, who have made significant contributions to the State of Texas.
Last month Greg released his second “Report to the People of Texas,” which offers a look back at the triumphs and challenges of 2017, and provides Texans greater insight into important programs and policies being implemented and other actions taken by the Governor’s Office to move Texas forward.
Another week, another 2017 GVA winner! Today’s Texanthropy Spotlight is Tony Smith, the Service to Veteran’s Award winner. This award recognizes an individual or organization that focuses on providing needed programs or services to meet the needs of military-connected families or individuals.