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 Home > News & Policies > August 2006

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
August 29, 2006

President and Mrs. Bush Discuss Gulf Coast School Library Recovery Initiative
Warren Easton Senior High School
New Orleans, Louisiana

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11:04 A.M. CDT

THE PRESIDENT: Laura and I want to thank the educators and students who have taken time to come over and help us make the point that renewal requires good education, and that there are a lot of good folks up and down the Gulf Coast who understand that, and that part of good education means having good books and strong libraries.

President George W. Bush and Laura Bush participate at a roundtable discussion Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2006, at Warren Easton Senior High School in New Orleans on the importance of rebuilding schools and school libraries, as the Gulf Coast marked the one- year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Mrs. Bush, speaking about the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries Gulf Coast School Library Recovery Initiative, congratulated the ten schools represented at the table on being awarded the first-round grants to help rebuild their schools. White House photo by Eric Draper And so I'm going to turn it over to the person who's the strong, good library person in our family.

MRS. BUSH: Well, I'm so excited today to get to see each one of you. I had a foundation already for school libraries, and we were just getting ready to disband the fundraising arm of that, the advisory committee, last year, last October. And when we met for our last meeting, they said, let's keep going, let's raise money now specifically for the Gulf Coast and try to raise enough money so that if every school comes up and is functional again and is staffed, that they can apply for a grant for -- to stock their library.

And it's been a thrill to be associated with school people. I know how school people work. Your first responders, just like firemen and policemen, you know you've got to get your schools up and going immediately. And I want to thank you for your determination and your very hard work, because I know that many of the people on every school staff who rebuilt their schools, are also having to rebuild their own lives. They lost their own houses, or they are living in FEMA trailers. And so they're doing double work, and I want to thank you very, very much for that.

This is the second round of grants that we're announcing today. We gave 10 schools, seven in Louisiana and three in Mississippi, earlier this summer. And this is our second round of grants to 10 more schools, once again seven in Louisiana and three in Mississippi.

These grants, for the press, might want to know, that these are for materials to restock a school library. They come in the form of a check because we know that school librarians want to build their library the way that it will support their curriculum and be most appropriate and perfect for their school children. So this is not -- this is not a book distribution, this is a check to these schools so they can do what all professional librarians want to do, and that is restock their libraries with the best books possible, including the course books that are especially bound for libraries so they can get a lot of use.

So I'm so excited to be here with all of you. I especially want to thank four foundations which have been very, very generous with the second round of grants: the AT&T Foundation, Conoco/Philips, Target, and Enterprise Corporation* have been very generous so that we can continue to give grants across the Gulf Coast. And I want to thank them, their representatives of their corporations here. Thank you all, very much, for that.

And I also want to thank Marshall Payne out of Dallas who's the Chairman of the Gulf Coast Recovery Initiative. He's back here. And Pam Willeford, who's our Director.

So Pam, I believe we'll take it over to you next.

END 11:08 A.M. CDT

* Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation