For Immediate Release
Office of Mrs. Bush
June 12, 2002
Remarks by Mrs. Bush for Teach for America in San Francisco, California
Congratulations to Teach For America for your latest expansion.
Welcome to San Francisco!
Wendy, thanks to your leadership and persistence, more than a
million children have benefited from Teach for America teachers. Over
the past year applications for TFA have gone up by 180 percent, and I
think that says a lot about Americans and their dedication to the
bright future of our nation's children.
Teachers -- and future teachers - honorees, and guests.thank you
for being here, and thanks for caring deeply about the children of
I can't think of a better cause than bringing more excellent
teachers into America's schools. Children need our love and support;
and they especially need devoted teachers and strong role models.
Teachers do much more than teach. They are role models and mentors,
and they have lasting effects on our lives.
Journalist David Shribman spent a year asking people about the role
teachers had played in their lives. The often humorous and
heart-warming answers were compiled into a book titled, "I remember my
A writer in Washington, D.C. said, "I remember Mary Kay Banner. She
taught at Thaddeus Stevens Elementary School in Clarion Pennsylvania. I
thought she was really old at the time, but of course she wasn't. She
played piano, and so we sang between classes. She was the best teacher
I ever had because she was the happiest teacher I ever had."
An urban planner in Massachusetts said, "I remember Miss Heldegarde
She opened each day of third grade with a book, an anthology of
poetry. She told us to close our eyes as we listened to the poem of
the day. At first the poems were short, but as they year progressed,
they grew longer. In high school I learned the finer points of poetry
mechanics.but it was never as fun, or as free, as it was with Miss
Biskey. She introduced to us the beauty of words and taught us that
life is poetry."
And the superintendent of schools in Concord, New Hampshire, said, "I
remember Miss Gray. She taught first grade in North Quincy,
Massachusetts. I remember her with graying hair, wearing gray, and
looking gray. But I remember one thing: She taught me how to read."
To say that a teacher has a profound impact on a student's life is
only half of the story, because students have just as much of an impact
on their teachers.
A TFA Corps member named Michelle Culver who works in Compton,
"Every morning when I get out of my car, students will run up to me
- children I don't even know, in other classes - and they'll ask,
"Ms. Culver, can I help you carry anything?"
Michelle said, "The children want to support you. They want you to
lead them in this vision, in this belief that every student can and
will succeed. As I work to inspire, I am inspired."
Teach For America succeeds because of people like Michelle and the
Corps members who are here tonight. And Teach For America can continue
to succeed and expand its good work with your help.
Thank you for your generosity and for caring about the children of
our nation, and congratulations to TFA as you settle into your new home
in San Francisco.
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