Irving's Barbara Bush Middle School honors the late first lady

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Some North Texas students who feel a special connection to former first lady Barbara Bush made the day all about her.

The boys and girls at Barbara Bush Middle School in Irving came up with a unique project to honor Mrs. Bush after passing away on Tuesday.

The former first lady was a champion for literacy and reading. There are several North Texas schools bearing her name.

Students at Irving’s Barbara Bush MS paid their respects in a way Mrs. Bush would be proud of.

"Dear Mrs. Bush: You inspire. You taught. You were determined,” one student said.

"Your push for literacy has helped so many kids find books and fall in love with them,” another student said.

They were simple words, but a powerful gesture on the day after the former first lady's passing.

Heavy hearts started in the school's foyer. There were mementos from 1998 when Mrs. Bush attended the ceremony to dedicate the campus named in her honor.

Over the years, Barbara sent handwritten notes, once graciously declining an invitation for a special event.

"To receive a handwritten note, I was so touched by it,” said Principal Matt Warnock. “She even apologizes and says, ‘We will be on our way to Maine.’ She explains why they can't make it."

None of the students there on Wednesday were born when Mrs. Bush visited their campus. But listening to what they said, you wouldn't know it.

"You were one great first lady. You always did your best to help kids,” said eighth-grader Jessica Jefferson. “I'm saddened by your passing, but hope you're doing alright. Rest in peace.”

They feel as if they knew her.

"Thank you, Mrs. Bush, for all your support,” one student said.

As for the project, the students will print their sentiments on a paper flower. Those flowers will be constructed into a huge wreath that will be sent to adorn the first lady's memorial events.