Children who struggle to read need more than government programs to help them catch up, first lady Laura Bush told a group of reading mentors.
"Children need a voice and an arm around them from a caring role model," she said. "One person's work can make a difference in other people's lives."
The comments came at a reception Tuesday held by "Everybody Wins!" a nationwide mentoring program in which adults take time off from work to read to children in schools.
The "Everybody Wins!" program has a reputation for drawing support from both parties. More than two dozen representatives and senators participate in the Washington-area branch.
Laura Bush has been an advocate for literacy. She has a master's degree in library science.