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 Home > News & Policies > May 2002

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
May 8, 2002

President Bush Speaks to Elementary Students in Milwaukee
Clarke Street Elementary School
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

President's Remarks

10:29 A.M. CDT

THE PRESIDENT: I'd like to thank my friend, Rod Paige, who is the Secretary of Education. (Applause.) Scott McCallum, your Governor, welcome to your Governor. (Applause.) I want to thank the teachers who are here. (Applause.) Thank you all for teaching. I'm here because this is a great school that believes every child can learn. It starts with a mind set that says every child can learn. That means there's high expectations and there's a willingness to make sure every child is learning.

I appreciate the curriculum you're using. We went a reading program that we're quite familiar with in Texas -- Rod and I are from Texas -- and it's a program that works. You're using a curriculum that has been proven to work, and that's important. I want to thank the parents who are here. You've got a responsibility to make sure your children come to school polite, prepared, ready to learn. Make sure you encourage them to read more than they watch TV. I know that's a monumental task, but it's important. It's important to make sure every child learns to read. And parents have got a lot of responsibility to make sure their children learn to read. President George W. Bush visits with teacher Carolyn Davis and her students at Clarke Street Elementary School in Milwaukee, Wis., Wednesday, May 8. "I'm here because this is a great school that believes every child can learn," said President Bush who listened to the students demonstrate their reading drills. During his talk with the children, the President emphasized the importance of reading over watching television. White House photo by Tina Hager.

I want to thank the Boys and Girls Clubs that are involved here, as well. I appreciate that. We're going to change America one heart and one soul and one conscience at a time. And the Boys and Girls Clubs are an integral part of providing help, particularly in after-school programs. And I want to thank you for being here.

Okay, I've got some questions for you. Ready? How many of you are going to college? (Applause.) That's good news. See, that means you've set a goal. In order to meet that goal, you've got to really be good readers, and you've got to study, and listen to your teachers.

How many of you read more than you watch TV? (Laughter.) With all due respect to the cameras, I hope you read more than you watch TV. You learn a lot more. It will help you get ready. See, if you raised your hand and said you wanted to go to college, in order to make sure you help achieve that goal, practice your reading. A good way to do it is to turn your TV sets off, and practice.

And, finally, in order to go to college, to meet the goal you've set, make sure you make right choices. Tell them, no, when somebody tries to say drugs are cool, or alcohol is good. Make the right choices. You'll be in college, and that's what we want.

I'm so glad that we could come by to see you all. God bless you all, and thanks for letting me come by. (Applause.)

END 10:33 A.M. CDT