TYLER, TX (KLTV) - It's a very, very big day for Tyler and for East Texas, Former First Lady Barbara Bush will be in town today.
She's here to celebrate literacy with the Literacy Council of Tyler.
"Not only is this a huge event for us, I mean to have the former First Lady come and speak on our behalf, but we actually got the confirmation from her the day before Thanksgiving, so all of this has come together in about nine weeks, I think, so it's been very fast and furious, says Hallye Terrell, Community Relations Coordinator for the Literacy Council of Tyler
The Literacy council credits Mrs. Bush's visit fifteen years ago with really helping them find their footing in the community.
"When she came in 1997, we were serving between 400 and 600 students a year, so we were going. But there were so many people in Tyler who didn't know who we were, and our donations were not near what they needed to be. Her visit really helped with that aspect a great deal, and now we've grown to 2400 students," says Nancy Crawford, Executive Director with the Literacy Council.
In addition, the Barbara Bush foundation has awarded grants to the Literacy Council of Tyler to fund a Family Literacy Program. Crawford says she hopes she honors Bush's financial and time investments in the Literacy Council of Tyler by having a great program that helps students of all walks of life.
"We've been recognized nationally for our program. We've taken her financial support and grown it with other donors. I hope she sees a good return on her investment. That's exactly what we want to do," says Nancy Crawford.
And today's visit is an opportunity to honor the woman who has been such an inspiration to the cause of literacy.
"It just means so much to us, and I think so much to our students, and it says so much about her commitment to literacy and about how she feels about Literacy Council of Tyler that she would come here, says Hallye Terrell.
"I'm indebted to her. And I can't believe she's coming back. She's 86-years-old and she's still got it, so I'm really thrilled, that she's honored us, really honored us, with this visit, says Nancy Crawford.
The doors open at Harvey Hall at 11am, and lunch starts at noon. Mayor Barbara Bass and former Mayor Joey Seeber will be here taking part in the program, and of course, the highlight will be Mrs. Bush's speech and Q and A.
KLTV will be LIVE STREAMING Mrs. Bush's speech at KLTV.com.
By the looks of it...it's going to be a visit to remember.