The White House Blog: The First Lady

  • Students Join First Lady Michelle Obama to Plant the White House Kitchen Garden

    Ed. Note: This is a cross post from LetsMove.gov. You can find the original post here.

    First Lady Michelle Obama invited students from across the country to join her today on the South Lawn for what has become a favorite tradition: planting the White House Kitchen Garden. For the fifth year in a row, Mrs. Obama and Let's Move Executive Director Sam Kass got their hands dirty as they planted the vegetables that will be harvested this summer and enjoyed by the First Family and White House guests, and donated to local charities. 

    This year, the First Lady was joined by students from schools that have made exceptional improvements to their school lunches through the implementation of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. At the Benjamin David Gullett Elementary School in Bradenton, Florida teachers use gardening as a learning opportunity for students, and the school’s food and nutrition program teaches students about planting, growing, and tasting vegetables to give them a better understanding of nutritious food.


  • Hey Kids, Let's Get Cooking!

    Ed. Note: This is a cross post from LetsMove.gov. You can find the original post here.

    First Lady Michelle Obama is once again challenging America’s most creative junior chefs to put their talents to good use and whip up some delicious lunchtime recipes.

    Epicurious Kids’ State Dinner Place Setting

    A booklet of the winning lunch recipes is provided with the place setting at the Kids’ State Dinner in the East Room of the White House, Aug. 20, 2012. First Lady Michelle Obama hosted the luncheon for 54 children from all over the United States who were asked to create an original lunch recipe that was healthy and affordable. (Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert)

    Let's Move! is thrilled to announce the Second Healthy Lunchtime Challenge & Kids’ State Dinner, a nationwide recipe challenge that originated to promote healthy eating among America’s youth, sponsored by The White House, the U.S. Department of Education, and Epicurious.

    “Last year’s Kids' State Dinner was one of my favorite events we’ve ever done for Let’s Move! because it perfectly captured how young people, parents, community leaders and businesses can come together for innovative, healthy solutions,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “Last year’s young chefs impressed and inspired me with their creativity, and I can’t wait to welcome a whole new group to the White House this summer and taste their creations. So kids, let’s get cooking!”

    The second Healthy Lunchtime Challenge & Kids' “State Dinner” invites parents or guardians and their kids, ages 8-12, to create and submit an original lunch recipe that is healthy, affordable, and tasty. Each recipe must adhere to the guidance that supports USDA’s MyPlate to ensure that the criteria of a healthy meal are met. Entries must represent each of the food groups, either in one dish or as parts of a lunch meal, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and low-fat dairy foods, with fruits and veggies making up roughly half the plate or recipe.

    Fifty-six children and their parent/guardian (one pair from each of the 50 states, plus the U.S. Territories, D.C., and Puerto Rico) will be flown to Washington, DC where they will have the opportunity to attend a Kids’ “State Dinner” at the White House this summer, hosted by Mrs. Obama. A selection of the winning healthy recipes will be served.

    President Barack Obama Drops by the Epicurious Kids’ State Dinner

    President Barack Obama drops by the Kids’ State Dinner in the East Room of the White House, Aug. 20, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    Recipes can be submitted April 3 through May 12 online at recipechallenge.epicurious.com, or via mail at “The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge c/o Epicurious.com,” 1166 Avenue of the Americas, 15thFloor, New York, NY 10036.


    Learn more:


  • First Lady Michelle Obama Hosts a "42" Movie Workshop for Students

    First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks during the "42" film workshop, April 2, 2013

    First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks during the "42" film workshop in the State Dining Room of the White House, April 2, 2013. Workshop participants included, from left, Brian Helgeland, Chad Boseman, Harrison Ford, Rachel Robinson, and moderator Paulette Aniskoff. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

    First Lady Michelle Obama today hosted 80 high school and college students from across the country for a screening of "42," followed by an interactive workshop with the cast and crew of the movie. "42" tells the story of Jackie Robinson, the very first African American to play major league baseball. The panel was moderated by Paulette Aniskoff, Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, and featured Harrison Ford, Chadwick Boseman and Brian Helgeland.

    The discussion focused on the inspirational themes from Robinson's life that students -- who came from Thurgood Marshall Academy in Washington, DC; Watkins Mill High School in Gaithersburg, MD; TC Williams High School in Alexandria, VA and Amino Jackie Robinson Charter High School in Los Angeles, CA -- can apply to their own.  

    Also joining the conversation was Rachel Robinson, Jackie Robinson's widow and his partner throughout his incredible life's journey. And as Mrs. Obama explained to the young crowd, Mrs. Robinson's example can be their guide. "Jackie and Rachel Robinson weren't destined for greatness -- they prepared themselves for greatness, which meant that they could make a difference outside of baseball, as well. And that is the only thing that is important for you to understand. You can be great in your profession, you can earn a lot of money, you can be famous, but the question is what are you doing for others."


  • Be Healthy, Be Active, Be You: The 2013 White House Easter Egg Roll

    President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Sasha and Malia, and Marian Robinson on the South Portico at the 2013 Easter Egg Roll, April 1, 2013

    President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, daughters Sasha and Malia, and Marian Robinson listen to Jessica Sanchez sing the National Anthem on the South Portico at the 2013 White House Easter Egg Roll, April 1, 2013. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

    The First Family today welcomed more than 30,000 guests to the South Lawn for the 135th annual White House Easter Egg Roll. This year's theme, "Be Healthy, Be Active, Be You" was inspired by Let's Move!, and the day's fun included numerous opportunities for the young guests to get moving, from the traditional Egg Roll to the Eggtivity Zone, an obstacle course where players and coaches from professional sports teams taught kids how to play sports and showed them easy, fun ways to stay active and fit.

    After being introduced to the crowd from the Blue Room Balcony by "Kid President" Robbie Novak, President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and their daughters Malia and Sasha headed over to cheer on some of the youngest visitors as they raced down the Lawn in the Egg Roll. The President and Bo then made their way to the Storytime Stage where he gave a dramatic reading of "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom", calling it "one of my favorite books." Next up for the President was a drop by at the White House basketball court, where he joined some of the Washington Wizards in throwing the ball around with kids.


  • First Lady Michelle Obama Visits Military Families at the Fisher House and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

    First Lady Michelle Obama visited the Fisher House at Walter Reed Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, to celebrate Easter early with military families. Accompanied by First Dog, Bo, and an Easter basket full of cookies, the First Lady decorated Easter cards with military children.

     

    In her work with Joining Forces, Mrs. Obama applauds organizations which aid active and veteran service members and military families. “The Fisher Houses, as you all know, are just so important to families who are recuperating,” said the First Lady in her remarks. “And all around the country, they are as beautiful and as welcoming and as comforting as you guys are experiencing here.”

    The Fisher House is a program established to assist families in need and to ensure that they are provided with the comforts of home in a supportive environment while their loved ones receive care.

    Mrs. Obama invited the participating families to this year’s Easter Egg Roll, which takes place on the South Lawn of the White House.

    Following her visit with the military families at the Fisher House, Mrs. Obama visited wounded warriors at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

    CAPT Todd Veazie is Executive Director of Joining Forces in the Office of the First Lady.

     

     


  • West Wing Week: 03/22/13 or “Reach Out to New Horizons”

    This week, the President spoke on American Energy Security at the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois, celebrated the luck of the Irish, honored leaders in STEM education and small business, filled out his NCAA tournament brackets, announced his nominee for the Secretary of Labor, and embarked on a 5 day trip to Israel, the West Bank, and Jordan.


  • First Lady Michelle Obama Honors 14 Women Veterans as Champions of Change

    Earlier this week, First Lady Michelle Obama and Joining Forces recognized 14 extraordinary women veterans as Champions of Change. The event, which took place at the White House, honored women veterans who have made a tremendous impact on our nation’s communities, businesses, and schools.

    First Lady Michelle Obama Delivers Remarks Honoring Women's Veterans

    First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks during a Champions of Change event honoring women veterans, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building of the White House, March 19, 2013. Mrs. Obama spoke to the group on behalf of her Joining Forces initiative. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

    Mrs. Obama spoke to the honorees and highlighted the need for companies to hire transitioning women veterans. “Right now, we have so many talented, highly skilled veterans who have so much to offer this country. And they're going to need that opportunity to make that happen,” said the First Lady. “We need that service operating here at home.”

    Through Joining Forces, Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden are determined to serve veterans and military families and make sure that they receive the benefits, support, and respect they have earned and deserve. The First Lady spoke to the incredible skills and hard work that women veterans possess and bring to every job they do:

    “You are the leaders in our businesses and schools in our communities. You're mothers raising your kids with that same sense of honor that defines your own lives every single day. You're volunteers in your neighborhoods, on the PTA, your houses of worship, always finding ways to keep lifting folks up.

    Long after you stop serving this country, you don’t stop serving it after you hang up your uniforms. And that’s something that we say all the time about our veterans. It's important for the nation to understand that you all keep working.”


  • President Obama Hosts a Celebration of Women's History Month at the White House

    President Barack Obama with First Lady Michelle Obama and Amanda McMillan at the Women’s History Month reception, March 18, 2013.

    President Barack Obama delivers remarks during the Women’s History Month reception in the East Room of the White House, March 18, 2013. Standing at right are First Lady Michelle Obama and Amanda McMillan, who introduced the President. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    President Obama today welcomed a group of accomplished and inspiring women to a reception in the East Room of the White House. The group, which included leaders like A&E Networks CEO Abbe Raven, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Girl Scouts' CEO Anna Maria Chávez, astronaut Sunita Williams, activists Dolores Huerta and Lilly Ledbetter, and WNBA star (and 3-time Olympic Gold Medalist) Tamika Catchings, joined the President, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden to celebrate the progress women make in this country each and every day. President Obama highlighted the changes we've seen in the past century:

    When I look around this room, it is hard to believe that 100 years ago this month, thousands of women were marching right outside this house demanding one of our most fundamental right: the right to vote, to have a say in our democracy. And today, a century later, its rooms are full of accomplished women who have overcome discrimination, shattered glass ceilings, and become outstanding role models for all of our sons and daughters. And that means we've come a long way, and that’s thanks to the efforts of so many people like you.

    Because of the hard work and exemplary leadership of the women in this room, military families have protected family and medical leave. Women have legal recourse to fight against pay discrimination... Women have the opportunity to serve on the front lines of our military conflicts, and that means that they're getting paid and promoted equally. Women have the opportunity to make their own choices about their health.


  • West Wing Week: 03/15/13 or “Stay With It!”

    This week, the President met with the Sultan of Brunei, his Export Council, Intel Science Fair finalists, and Israel Channel 2; he discussed cybersecurity and immigration reform with CEOs, and traveled to the Capitol to meet with Congressional Caucuses, while the First Lady honored Women of Courage, held a Twitter Q&A, and challenged CEOs to find innovative ways to hire veterans.


  • First Lady Michelle Obama Challenges America's CEOs To Be Bold in Finding Ways to Hire Veterans

    First Lady Michelle Obama Addresses the Business Roundtable, March 13, 2013

    First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks on the Joining Forces Initiative to business leaders at the Business Roundtable Conference Center in Washington, D.C., March 13, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

    First Lady Michelle Obama today met with the Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies which combined have nearly 16 million employees, and challenged these leaders to make bold commitments to hire our veterans and military spouses and help them reach their full potential within their companies.

    Mrs. Obama highlighted the need for action, referring to the hundreds of thousands of veterans and military spouses currently looking for work, and pointing out that in the coming years, over one million more will be hanging up their uniforms and transitioning back to civilian life. "These men and women will be returning to their families, rejoining their communities, and figuring out what’s next in their lives," said the First Lady. "And as they do all of that, the one thing that they're going to be thinking about is a job."