Laura Bush plays substitute teacher for Tyler book release - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Laura Bush plays substitute teacher for Tyler book release


A group of Tyler students had a rather famous substitute teacher read to them today; former First Lady Laura Bush paid a visit to Green Acres Baptist Church, in Tyler, for the release of The Junior League of Tyler's book, Goodnight Rose City.

"She is such a hero to so many people, and she has influenced literacy for so many years and she was a teacher," Carrie Bigbie, one of the authors, said.

That's what made Former First Lady, Laura Bush, such a perfect candidate for the release of this East Texas children's book.

"If we could have anybody come and be our official first reader she is the top one up there to do that," Denise Bardsley, another author, said.

Before reading the book to elementary students, the Former First Lady spoke about her time as a teacher. She told the room of more than two hundred about a little boy she once tried to help. His parents were absent in his life so, she said, she made sure to hug him extra tight.

"Not all kids are lucky to have good families and a good home, and as educators and as volunteers in the community, we can make a difference in children's lives, even if we aren't their parents," Bardsley said.

That little boy, according to Laura, is what has motivated her to continue to help others.

The women of Tyler's Junior League Chapter spent many late nights trying to do the very same.

"This is why mom hasn't been home or has been late and you haven't seen me, because we have been working tirelessly to put together this amazing book," Bardsley said.

And now she can read it to her children.

"And we brainstormed about the things that make Tyler famous."

The book is an East Texas take on the classic, "Goodnight Moon."

The committee spent six months coming up with familiar places like The Caldwell Zoo and local schools to include.

Mrs. Bush took a copy, too, that she said she'll read it to her new granddaughter, Mila.

"And it's just amazing to see something that you've worked so hard, really come to life, and it's here and it's amazing. It's just incredible that we could come up with something that's going to benefit Smith County," Bardsley said.

With 100 percent of the proceeds going to local charities, they hope the book will be a new chapter for even just one child. The book will be sold at The Tyler Junior League offices as well as many local businesses. It hits shelves Cctober 14.

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