First Lady Visits Natural State

February 17, 2004 - Posted at 1:50 p.m. CDT

BENTONVILLE, AR - First Lady Laura Bush visited Bentonville High School today to encourage the students to become teachers.

Mrs. Bush, herself a former teacher, likened being a teacher to being a doctor, lawyer or dentist who has to treat 40 patients at one time every day for nine months.

She emphasized the TeachArkansas program, a response to the No Child Left Behind Act, which her husband the president initiated.  The program will provide additional money for teacher training and to attract teachers to underserved rural areas.

Mrs. Bush said America will need more than two million teachers in the next decade and the country needs teachers with diverse backgrounds who believe that every child can learn and every child deserves to be treated with respect.

The first lady also attended a $1,000-a-plate fundraiser for the Bush-Cheney campaign at the Pinnacle Club in Rogers.  She's also to attend a private reception for those who donate $2,000 or more.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)