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Former White House Press Secretary, Auburn native visits Lee Co. Boys & Girls Club

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(WTVM) -

Robert Gibbs knows how to deliver a speech, especially one focusing on youth and reading, a cause he is dedicated to.

 "After I left the White house, I wanted to do something to give back," Gibbs said.

The Former White House Press Secretary grew up in Auburn, and as the son of two AU librarians, Gibbs understands the importance of reading.

"Because if you are not good at reading, it's very hard to learn anything else," he said.

Gibbs partnered with the Lee County Boys and Girls Club and founded The Pine Hills Literacy Center in Auburn. He set up a library with 2,000 books and it's used by hundreds of Boys and Girls club members every year and their families.

Last year Gibbs rewarded children who excelled with a trip to the Georgia Aquarium.

"I can honestly say in all the experiences I have had over the last few years, taking 40 kids to the aquarium in Atlanta was as fun and as rewarding as anything I have ever done," he said. "I have also never been more exhausted at the end of that day."

As the keynote speaker at Thursday's fundraising luncheon, Gibbs asked the audience to give freely of their time and money to help support the club..

"I told kids yesterday that you can do anything you want to do if you just dream it, it is up to us to help give them the opportunities to chive those big dreams," he said.

Mr. Gibbs shared with us he has a 9-year-old son who, like him at that age, wasn't really interested in reading until they found the right books.

His advice for parents: if your kids like sports, get them books on sports, if they like bugs, get them books on bugs and make the time to read with them as much as you can.

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