Excerpts from Laura Bush's address at the Chase CenterPadua Academy honored its 2013 Women of Achievement Award winner at the Chase Center.
Former First Lady Laura Bush was named as this year's recipient because of her commitment to women and literacy.
"I believe that literacy is an essential foundation for democracy, and from my own experience as a reader and librarian, I know that books have the power, not just to move people as individuals, but to shape our journey as a nation," said Mrs Bush.
About 750 people attending the award dinner at the Chase Center also heard Mrs Bush share some memories of her years in the White House and the mystical feeling that surrounds that building.
"When you live in the White House you live not just with the ghosts of Presidents, but with the echoes of citizens holing its government to account," she said.
She says 9/11 changed her families perception of what the presidency was to be.
"When George was elected President, we believed that the challenges facing the country from within were going to be more urgent than those from without," said Bush.
Mrs. Bush humorously shared on the joys of being a new grandparent and the adjustment to life after the White House.
She said as her time as First Lady came to an end she was moved by the continuity of power that she says is unique to the United States.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.