Former First Lady Promotes Literacy, Reads Across the World

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COLLEGE STATION, TX -- Former First Lady Barbara Bush is at home in Houston, recovering from a respiratory illness. However, she didn't let that keep her from her annual event promoting literacy.

An event hosted at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum at Texas A&M University was broadcast to over 55,000 students in the United States, Canada, and France.

Mrs. Bush joined via teleconference from Houston and read an excerpt from "Liberty," a book about the Statue of Liberty. She had help from reading buddies, students who took turns reading from the book by Lynn Curlee, who was also on stage in the Annenberg Presidential Conference Center at the library. The audience included students from Somerville and Brenham.

After the reading, the eager audience was treated to Mrs. Bush's trademark moxie as she answered kids' questions from around the world.

"We got to meet people that we would have never got the opportunity to," said Lilly, a student at Brenham Middle School, who was also one of the on-stage reading buddies.

Even though the former First Lady couldn't be there in person, the kids were happy just the same.

"It would have been better if she was there but it was still an awesome experience," said Pierce, also a reading buddy and student from Brenham Middle School.

The program concluded with a very special performance from the Texas A&M Quartet of Singing Cadets.

KBTX General Manager Mike Wright moderated the event that was produced in partnership with the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.