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For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
October 2, 2008

Interview of the First Lady by Ann Curry, NBC "Today Show"

8:23 A.M. EDT

Q Now to the world's largest shared reading experienced, Jumpstart's "Read for the Record," a national campaign to help raise awareness of the importance of preparing children to read at an early age so they can succeed in school. Well, today people all over this country are reading one book, and this year it is "Corduroy," by Don Freeman. And among the readers this morning is First Lady Laura Bush. Mrs. Bush, good morning.

MRS. BUSH: Good morning. How are you?

Q I'm doing great. It's great to see you. Remind us, as a former librarian, Mrs. Bush, why it's important for us to spend time with our children reading.

MRS. BUSH: Well, it's very important to read with your little children, they will have a bigger vocabulary when they start school. But they'll also know things that don't come intuitively, like we read from left to right in English; or that the symbols on the page, the letters actually represent real, spoken words. Those are the kind of advantages your children will have if you read to them when they're little, so when they start school they already have all those pre-reading skills and they're ready to learn to read.

Q You've got some pretty cute kids out there in the White House this morning, tell us about them.

MRS. BUSH: I sure do. I have two classes here from two different schools, kids who have come in to hear "Corduroy." This is a great children's book -- it's an old children's book from 1968, but children still love it today because they love the story of this teddy bear.

Q Well, Mrs. Bush, thank you so much this morning for joining us. And enjoy reading the book and we'll talk to you again soon. Bye-bye for now.

MRS. BUSH: Great, thanks so much. Thanks, Ann.

END 8:25 A.M. EDT


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