This is a portion of a speech made by Mrs. Laura Bush:  

Mrs. Bush’s Remarks at Holy Redeemer Catholic School
Holy Redeemer Catholic School
Washington, D.C.

This is Catholic Schools Week, and that’s one of the reasons why I’m here today. It’s the perfect time to recognize the contributions that Catholic schools make to students all across our country. Students here at Holy Redeemer are among the 2,300,000 students in the United States who are currently attending Catholic schools. The education you’re receiving builds on a tradition of academic excellence older than the United States itself, dating back nearly four centuries.

Today, 99 percent of Catholic-school students graduate from high school — and 97 percent go on to college. That’s an unbelievable record, so congratulations to everyone. (Applause.) But just as Archbishop Wuerl said, not only do Catholic educators develop young minds, but they also prepare children for lives of compassion and service.

The Catholic-school tradition is based on the belief that every child is blessed with unique gifts, and every child has unlimited potential — regardless of that child’s status or race or even faith. In fact, 27 percent of the children attending Catholic schools in Washington aren’t Catholic. As the legendary Cardinal Hickey, Washington’s Cardinal Hickey once explained: “We don’t educate children because they’re Catholic, but because we’re Catholic.”