Eight Kid Reporters from the award-winning Scholastic News Kids Press Corps sat down with First Lady Michelle Obama for an exclusive interview in the Map Room of the White House.
During the interview, Kid Reporters Gabriel Ferris, 15, of Winslow, ME; Manu Onteeru, 14, Sterling, VA; Adedayo Perkovich, 12, New York, NY; Courtney Pine, 11, Washington, DC; Stone Shen, 12, Acton, MA; Maxwell Surprenant, 13, Needham, MA; Erik Weibel, 14, Benton, PA; and Skylar Yarter, 13, Maplewood, NJ, asked the First Lady about her “Let’s Move!” initiative, plans for the future, and much more.
Original Kid Reporter stories from the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps interview with First Lady Michelle Obama are available online.
How does your family participate in the Let’s Move! campaign?
“We try to follow the principles that we set forth through Let’s Move!,” explained First Lady Michelle Obama. In addition to eating balanced meals and limiting screen time, the Obama family also exercises regularly. “We try to lead by example and the President and I are very active. We work out almost every single day, we have a trainer, and I do classes — I love SoulCycle. I want my kids to see me moving around!”
What do you plan to do next in your career?
The First Lady responded, “I hope to always stay connected to our military community and be a support. I hope to always be working on issues of health in this nation, particularly with kids and hopefully with moms, as we move forward. And I hope to be talking about education and encouraging kids to take their education seriously here in the U.S., because there are kids around the world who don’t have the privileges that we’ve had.” She later added, “And then I want to sleep a little bit more. (Laughter) I want to take a walk. I want to go to CVS without Ellen [DeGeneres].”
How did you get the idea to plant a garden at the White House?
“It started with my concerns and worries as a mom,” said the First Lady about the White House Kitchen Garden. She went on to describe a visit to her daughters’ pediatrician, which opened her eyes to America’s childhood obesity epidemic: “I thought planting a garden would be a good way to start a conversation about where our food comes from. I found that when I got my girls involved in going to farmer’s markets and things like that, they were more interested in eating the vegetables.”
Has President Obama found a way to enjoy beets?
“We don’t like beets,” said the First Lady. She explained: “My theory on beets is that you have a beet gene because the people who love beets, love beets, and they can’t understand why non-beet-lovers don’t love beets! But, if you don’t like beets, you can’t imagine how anyone could love a beet — so I just think it’s genetics!”
How is living in the White House different from living in a regular home?
The First Lady responded, “It’s just fun living in a home that’s a National Historic Park. The South Lawn is your backyard, and there’s a swimming pool here. There are tennis courts and basketball courts by the garden. You have to get used to living with a lot of people. We’ve got a lot of staff that support us. There are butlers. There are housekeepers. There are chefs. Those people are like our family. It’s been an honor to be here.”
The interview with First Lady Michelle Obama is also featured in upcoming print issues of Scholastic classroom magazines, including Scholastic News, which are read by more than 25 million students nationwide.
“Our student journalists bring a unique perspective to current events that our young readers really appreciate,” said Suzanne McCabe, Editor of the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps. “The interview with the First Lady was a great opportunity for our reporters to learn more about the Obama family’s life — and legacy — in the White House and about issues that kids across the country care about.”
The Scholastic News Kids Press Corps is a group of 35 young reporters, ages 10–14, from across the country. For more than 16 years, Kid Reporters in the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps have covered “news for kids, by kids,” reporting on current events, breaking news, and entertainment stories from reporters’ hometowns and around the world. Stories by Kid Reporters appear on the Scholastic News website and in select issues of classroom magazines.