National Child's Day, 2003
By the President of the United States of America
On National Child's Day, we celebrate the future of our Nation and the
promise of America's youth. As a Nation, as parents, and as community members,
we have a responsibility to build a secure and nurturing society so that our
children have the opportunity to grow, learn, work, and succeed.
Creating an environment that instills important values, builds strong
character, and provides sound education for our children is a vital national
priority. With a firm foundation, children will be better able to face the
challenges of the future.
Parents are a child's first teachers, and they can be the most effective
instructors. One of the most helpful activities parents can do with their
children is read with them. Children who develop a love for reading expand their
imaginations and cultivate a thirst for learning that lasts a lifetime. By
talking, listening, and reading to our children, we can help them build the
confidence they need to succeed in life. Parents' role as educators becomes even
more important as schools across the country prepare for summer recess.
Summertime is not only a time for children to relax and play, it is also a time
for parents to strengthen their ties to their children by spending time with
them and helping them to broaden their experiences.
To expand on the important work that parents do, my Administration has taken
significant steps to help give our children greater opportunities to learn. By
improving our education system and encouraging early reading and language
skills, we give our children the tools they will need to succeed in the world
they will inherit from us. Children also benefit from the immeasurable care and
support of their teachers, and are inspired by the model they set.
Outside the home and the classroom, there are many adults who touch
children's lives. Family, mentors, neighbors, and friends can help mold
America's next generation through their positive examples, showing children how
to help those in need and encouraging them to set high standards for themselves.
To help instill the value of volunteer service, the USA Freedom Corps, through
the Students in Service to America initiative, is helping to create ways for
young people to give back to their communities. By using their time, talents,
and compassion to make a difference in the lives of others, America's children
are learning to become responsible and engaged leaders in our democratic
On this special day, we celebrate the possibility of every boy and girl in
America. In their faces, we see the hope of our Nation. America is dedicated to
their welfare and the full development of their potential.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America,
by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the
United States, do hereby proclaim June 1, 2003, as National Child's Day. I urge
parents to spend more time with their children, read to them, listen to their
concerns, offer guidance and love, and encourage their dreams. I also urge all
Americans to set a positive example for our children and to assist parents in
setting them on the path to success. And I call upon citizens to observe this
day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of May, in
the year of our Lord two thousand three, and of the Independence of the United
States of America the two hundred and twenty-seventh.
GEORGE W. BUSH