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Barbara Bush Honors Two Texas Children

April 27, 1989

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Under a circus tent on the White House lawn, there was a ″three-ring celebration″ of the joys of reading as first lady Barbara Bush singled out two children from Texas for special honors Thursday.

Ten-year-old Amber Smith of Fort Worth was recognized as winner of the Reading is Fundamental national poster contest, while 11-year-old Danny Leyva of San Juan won the organization’s random drawing in the ″Celebration of Reading″ program.

Mrs. Bush, an adopted Texan, and entertainer-businessman Jimmy Dean, the master of ceremonies, honored the children as part of Reading is Fun Week.

Reading Is Fundamental, which Mrs. Bush said will have provided 100 million books to children by the end of the year, sponsored the event and entertainment was provided by Ringing Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus which has a motivational reading program for children.

Mrs. Bush said: ″After we decided not to have elephants or lion trainers, I only had one other worry. Would my Millie be jealous?

″Millie’s my springer spaniel. This is her front yard. She owns the south grounds and the only way that Millie would let me have this big, wonderful party for Reading Is Fundamental was if I promised her her puppies could come to the party.″

She told the 200 children that ″today really is a three-ring celebration, and I want all of you to have a wonderful time because that’s what Reading Is Fundamental is all about, having a wonderful time with books.″

″Next to my family and gardening, I love reading more than anything in life. And it’s impossible for me to imagine ever being without books, and that’s why reading is very important,″ Mrs. Bush said.

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