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Laura Bush visits Sesame Street for season 34

Courtesy of Reuters
September 19, 2002

First Lady Laura Bush didn't need to ask how to get to "Sesame Street" Thursday when she visited the set to tape a book-reading segment for the popular children's program.

Dressed in a light blue pantsuit and accompanied by about a dozen Secret Service agents, Bush arrived at the Kaufman Astoria Studios in Queens to rehearse "Wubba, Wubba, Woo" with Big Bird, Elmo and three children.

After some read-throughs for lighting and technical direction, it took just three takes to get a finished product. Cast and crew applauded the former librarian's performance, which is expected to air on public television in the spring.

"It's a thrill," Sherrie Westin, executive vice president of Sesame Workshop, said of the first lady's visit. "It also speaks to the importance of 'Sesame Street,' that it's recognized as a real teacher in the lives of children."

Since her husband became president, Mrs. Bush has championed reading and the importance of getting children interested in books at an early age.

"Sesame Street" executives approached her last spring with the idea of appearing on the show, and shortly afterward a script was sent to the White House for approval.

"Sesame Street" has been entertaining children around the world for more than 30 years.

Laura Bush joins other first ladies who have appeared on the show, including her mother-in-law, Barbara Bush, and Hillary Rodham Clinton ( news - web sites).

She did not answer questions and was quickly ushered out of the studio to get to another event.

But the show was not over. A small group of Secret Service agents returned inside -- some with their own cameras -- to have their photos taken with program's stars, Elmo and Big Bird.

 
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Fan site Muppet Central created by Phillip Chapman. Updates by Muppet Central Staff. All Muppets, Bear
characters are copyright of The Muppets Studio. Sesame Street characters are copyright of Sesame Workshop.
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