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First Lady Barbara Bush will read excerpts from a book and answer students' questions at the Reading Discovery Distance Learning Program and Videoconference, January 14 from 10-11:15am, at the George Bush Presidential Library Center at Texas A&M University.

College Station- First Lady Barbara Bush will read excerpts from a book and answer students’ questions at the Reading Discovery Distance Learning Program and Videoconference, January 14 from 10-11:15am, at the George Bush Presidential Library Center at Texas A&M University.

The 2014 theme is the history of the Statue of Liberty. Mrs. Bush will read from award-winning author Lynn Curlee’s book “Liberty.”  During the question and answer session, Mrs. Bush will answer questions about highlights from her life as First Lady of the United States and her commitment to the cause of literacy. Mrs. Bush will participate via videoconference, and Curlee will be on stage for the program along with reading partners from Brenham ISD and Sommerville ISD.

Joining in the Q&A Session will be Houston ISD French Teacher Claire Frazier with students at Kolter Elementary School. Mrs. Frazier recently received an award from the Consulate General of France in Houston for her outstanding teaching. Melissa Magnuson-Cannady, Park Ranger-Education at the Statue of Liberty National Monument, will talk about on-site programs and join students asking questions at South Mountain Elementary School, Millburn, New Jersey. Students across America, in Montreal, Canada, and at Lycée Jean-Baptiste Corot in Douai, France, will ask questions to Mrs. Bush.

The program is sponsored by the Junior League of Bryan/College Station and the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation. The program is presented in partnership with the Trans-Texas Videoconference Network, Texas Educational Telecommunications Network, Region 11-Connect2Texas, Polycom, Read Around the Planet, and the National Archives and Records Administration.

Bush Library and Museum Director of Education Dr. Shirley Hammond said this is the seventh consecutive year for the Reading Discovery Distance Learning Program and Videoconference featuring Mrs. Bush.

“The 2014 theme focuses on the fascinating history of the Statue of Liberty. It was a gift of the French people to the American people. It is an exciting story of international friendship, collaboration, and impact in giving the world a symbol of liberty, freedom and opportunity,” says Hammond.

According to Hammond, the annual Reading Discovery Program with Mrs. Bush is the most popular education program offered with more than 35,000 registered participants expected this year. The program is designed for students in grades 3-8. The book supply of “Liberty” is limited based on registration date and availability. Since 2008, more than 180,000 books have been given to past participants.

For a free registration of the distance-learning program, it will be available as a recording at connect2texas.net/bushlibrary41. For more information contact the Bush Library and Museum Education Department at (979) 691-4013.