The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
October 11, 2006

Mrs. Bush's Remarks to the Press Pool During a Visit to Communication Through Art Program
Knox County Public Defenders Community Law Office
Knoxville, Tennessee


4:06 P.M. EDT

MRS. BUSH: For the last year-and-a-half, actually, I've been visiting -- since the 2005 State of the Union address -- I've been visiting programs like this all over the country where people work to reach out to young people, to help young people build the self-esteem and the knowledge they need to avoid risky behaviors and steer their life toward a successful life.

And this is a great program. I like this one especially because it uses the arts, which are a particular interest of mine. And I think studying the arts builds discipline and interest. It builds vocabulary. There are words you might use here that you might not use other places. And so it's a really good way to open up your mind to a lot of possibilities for your life and for the world.

And in this case, this is a great program that works with people -- works with students during this time of day, which is when many young people are home alone because their parents are still working. So it gives them something to do that's safe and productive and constructive after school.

And so I want to thank especially the adults who come here to volunteer, who work with these children and be a caring mentor for them, which is something we know all children need. Every child needs a caring adult in their lives.

So this is a great program that answers a lot of needs for children -- giving them a safe place to be, giving them interesting things to do, and then providing relationships with caring adults while they're here. So thank you all, thank you so much for what you do here.

This was also started with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, through the Tennessee Commission on the Arts. So I'm a particular fan of the National Endowment for the Arts, as well.

Okay, thanks, everybody.

END 4:08 P.M. EDT

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