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Children at the Kayenta Indian Health Service Clinic on the Navajo Nation gather around Mrs. Bush after reading with her May 8 , 2003. White House photo by Susan Sterner.

As a child, I loved listening to my mother read to me. Little did I know that she was doing much more than providing comfort and entertainment; she was paving the way for my learning and success in school.

Research tells us that the early language experiences and education we provide our children shape the way they think and learn. The quality of these experiences affects a child's enthusiasm for learning, ability to interact with others and success in school.

Though many children grow up hearing a broad vocabulary and being read to from infancy, others enter school without knowing the names of letters or how to count. For these children, reading and learning can be a struggle. If they are unable to overcome this obstacle, their loss affects all of society.

Our challenge is to reach all children early so that every child starts school with the skills needed to learn. Once they are in the classroom, our children deserve excellent teachers and a high-quality education.

As a mother and former public school teacher and librarian, I believe we all have a duty to help our children achieve success. And I am proud to join President Bush in his goal to make America's schools the best they can be.

-- Letter from Mrs. Bush

Reach Out and Read
Ready to Read, Ready to Learn
Healthy Start, Grow Smart
Careers in Teaching
White House Conference on Preparing Tomorrow's Teachers
Transition to Teaching
Teach for America
Troops to Teachers
The New Teacher Project
Recruiting New Teachers, Inc.
National Teacher Recruitment Program
Mrs. Bush's Character and Community Initiative
The White House Conference on Character and Community
Character and Community: A Town Hall Meeting with America's Youth
Mrs. Bush Addresses the Importance of Character Education to Learning

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