Barbara Bush Celebrates 89th Birthday, Promotes Literacy

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Former first lady Barbara Bush celebrated her 89th birthday today in a low-key celebration in Maine. A spokesperson for the family said Barbara held a private dinner on Sunday with her relatives in Kennebunkport, Maine, where the Bush family resides in a summer home. Barbara Bush served as the First Lady from 1989 to 1993, and is the mother of former president George W. Bush and governor Jeb Bush.

Barbara's husband, former president George H.W. Bush, is also celebrating a birthday next week, turning 90 on Thursday. Five years ago, Bush went skydiving for his 85th birthday and promised he'd do it again on his 90th. However, that doesn't appear to be the case, as Bush is facing health problems and currently uses a wheelchair to move around. His spokesman said Bush is planning for a celebration similar to Barbara's - an intimate dinner with family and friends.

While spending time in Kennebunkport, Maine, Barbara has been an avid supporter of literature and local school reading programs. Having founded the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy while First Lady, Barbara is widely known for her love and support of reading. Earlier this week, Barbara surprised a local school that had just surpassed one million pages read during the school year.

“I’m thrilled you all read so many pages,” Barbara said to an auditorium of students, teachers, and parents. “Thank you all very much and God bless you all.”

The school not only met the one million page challenge, but surpassed it with a total of 1,094,340 pages, 84,000 more read than the previous record. Thrilled about the accomplishment, school librarian Marty McGannon added, “All of us want you to know about the magic of reading. Books will take you anywhere you can imagine.”

Image via Wikimedia Commons

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