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J.J. Watt, Barbara Bush suit up to sack illiteracy

Here’s something you don’t see every day: A former first lady in her late 80s putting on football gear like she’s ready to step out on the field.

Barbara Bush, wife of 41st President George H.W. Bush, has teamed up with Houston Texans star defensive end J.J. Watt. Together, the two are hoping to tackle illiteracy in the Houston area.

“We’ve got to our game faces on,” the 89-year former first lady says in a 30-second ad, all while donning shoulder pads and eye black.

The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy and the Justin J. Watt Foundation have partnered together with Phillips 66 to promote National Literacy Month, which is September.

The Bush Foundation website says the nonprofit offers scholarships and family literacy programs. It also says parents who cannot read (or have trouble reading) is a big issue in the U.S.

Unbelievably, 30 million adults in America cannot read or write at the most basic level …Illiteracy is America’s biggest challenge. Low literacy skills are directly linked to greater inequality, higher unemployment, less earned income and poor health. Sadly, the education and social mobility gap in America continues to grow. This growing education inequality creates less financial opportunity and social mobility for low-income families, resulting in a stagnant U.S. economy. Investing in family literacy is critical to the success of our families and nation.

Bush finishes the ad with a plea to support National Literacy Month.

Character Counts is a registered trademark of the Josephson Institute.