The White House Blog: The First Lady
- Posted byon November 10, 2011 at 3:03 PM EDT
Today, First Lady Michelle Obama was at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to talk about what private companies are doing to help military families.
She announced that a range of businesses now plan to hire 100,000 veterans and military spouses by 2014. She said that the Veterans Jobs Bank -- launched on Monday -- now hosts more than 550,000 job postings from military-friendly employers.
She told the crowd at the Chamber:
This commitment of 100,000 jobs isn’t about making headlines. These wonderful programs don’t just provide a good opportunity for a press conference. All of these efforts are about upholding our sacred duty to our veterans and their families.
Since Joining Forces got off the ground, 16,000 veterans and spouses have already found new positions.
Later today, the Senate is expected to vote on and approve a provision of the American Jobs Act -- which will offer business a $9,600 tax credit for hiring disabled veterans and create additional tax credits for employers who hire veterans who have spent four weeks or more out of work.
- Posted byon November 2, 2011 at 6:38 PM EDT
Watch First Lady Michelle Obama's full remarks here.
Today, First Lady Michelle Obama honored organizations from across the country that are committed to providing enriching arts and humanities programs for young people. These organizations, recipients of the President’s Council on Arts and the Humanities Youth Award, work both in and out of schools to encourage young people to experience every facet of the arts, from dance and theater to media arts and music composition.
Groups being honored include:
- An art center in South Philidelphia that provides free art classes to 2,000 students a year, many of them immigrants
- A summer workshop in Seattle that teaches students about Shakespeare
- A 10-day, five-state “moving classroom experience” that takes students along the path of the Civil Rights in the southern United States
- Posted byon November 2, 2011 at 6:26 PM EDT
First Lady Michelle Obama visited the Royal Castle Child Development Center in New Orleans yesterday, where she led the toddlers in some exercises and read them a book that is an Obama family favorite.
Mrs. Obama was in New Orleans to highlight the importance of building healthy habits at a very young age, a key component of the Let's Move Child Care initiative, which is designed to get child care centers to promote healthy eating and exercise habits. After she finished a round of stretching, jumping and marching in place, the First Lady read two books to the children and their parents. First up was "Lunch" by Denise Fleming, about a mouse that eats vegetables and fruit, followed by "Where the Wild Things Are," the children's classic (beloved by the Obamas) by Maurice Sendak.
- Posted byon October 30, 2011 at 11:16 AM EDT
Watch the White House get a Halloween makeover here.
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama welcomed area students and the children of military families to the White House for the annual Halloween celebration and trick-or-treating on Saturday night.
The President and First Lady handed out cookies, White House M&M's and dried fruit mix to trick-or-treaters at the North Portico of the White House. Check out these videos for the behind the scenes preparations and watch the main event with the President, Mrs Obama and all the costumed kids.
Watch President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hand out treats to area students and the children of military families here.
The White House and the surrounding grounds were decorated in celebration of Halloween. As the trick-or-treaters made their way across the North Lawn to the North Portico they were entertained by the Marine Band playing Halloween music and spooked by in-costume actors from Washington-area theatres, brought together by theatreWashington.
Check out the White House Halloween recipes below.
The White House Sweet Dough Butter Cookie Recipe
1 lb Sugar 1 tsp Vanilla
2 lbs Butter 1 tsp Salt
3 Eggs 3 lbs All Purpose Flour
Mix the butter and sugar till soft and well beaten. Then add eggs, vanilla, salt and half the flour. Beat on slow speed till mixed, then add the rest of the flour and mix until incorporated.
Push flat onto a cookie sheet and refrigerate overnight. Roll out to one quarter inch thick and cut out cookie shapes with cookie cutter.
Bake at 350F for 14 minutes and then allow to cool.
Make Your Own Dried Fruit Mix
Dried Apples Dried Pineapple
Dried Apricots Dried Papayas
Dried Pears Dried Cherries
Dried Blueberries Banana Chips
Combine ingredients and serve.
Download the recipes and make these treats yourself. (pdf)
- Posted byon October 25, 2011 at 7:25 PM EDT
For too many American families, serving healthy food as part of a regular diet isn’t actually an option. That’s because, in many communities across the country, there is no place to purchase any groceries, much less fresh fruits and vegetables. These neighborhoods are known as food deserts, and in recent years, as economic difficulties caused grocery stores to shut their doors or consolidate locations, they have been proliferating.
Eliminating these food deserts and making sure parents in every part of the country have access to fresh produce and healthy choices is a primary goal of Let’s Move, and today First Lady Michelle Obama was in Chicago where she challenged attendees at the Mayor’s Summit on Food Deserts to look for ways to attract grocery stores and other businesses selling fresh produce to their communities.
Studies have shown that people who live in communities with greater access to supermarkets, they eat more fresh fruits and vegetables – surprise. And that can have a real impact on the health of our families.
I mean, truly, we all grew up in communities with grandmothers who cooked two, three vegetables that you had to eat. There was no ifs, ands or buts about it. But that’s because many of our grandparents, they had community gardens; there was the vegetable man that came around. There were many other resources that allowed them to have access. So it’s not that people don't know or don't want to do the right thing; they just have to have access to the foods that they know will make their families healthier.
- Posted byon October 24, 2011 at 5:20 PM EDT
Last week, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden traveled to St. Louis for Game One of the 2011 World Series to honor the troops, veterans and their families as part of their Joining Forces initiative geared towards connecting local communities in support of military families.
Check out the video from their trip here:
Before the first pitch, the First Lady also took your questions from Twitter and Facebook on how you can say thanks and provide a helping hand for the families of service members. There are lots of ways to get involved, from sending a message of gratitude to exploring volunteer opportunities near you. Find out how you can support a military family in your community at JoiningForces.gov.
- Posted byon October 21, 2011 at 6:24 PM EDT
As the Director of Correspondence for the First Lady, it’s my honor – and pleasure – to read through the letters the First Lady receives every day from across the country. People write in about all kinds of issues, ranging from the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative to help kids get active and stay healthy to her work lifting up military families through Joining Forces. But we also get quite a few letters addressed to, or about, the youngest member of the Obama family – Bo! That’s why Mrs. Obama recently took a photo with Bo in the White House kitchen garden, so that kids writing in about the garden or about Bo could get a letter back with a photo of the First Dog. Letters from children are always such a joy and inspiration, that’s why Mrs. Obama wanted to give them something more tangible in return. We hope kids of all ages enjoy this special look at the First Lady and the First Dog as much as I do!
- Posted byon October 20, 2011 at 7:35 PM EDT
Before the first pitch at Game One of the World Series, First Lady Michelle Obama sent her first official tweet calling on all Americans to support our nation’s military families. Check out the clip here.
As part of their Joining Forces initiative, Mrs. Obama and Dr. Jill Biden teamed up with Major League Baseball at a game dedicated to veterans and military families. The Joining Forces initiative and MLB’s Welcome Back Veterans program encourage all Americans to recognize and support America’s veterans and military families.
Earlier in the day, the First Lady joined President Obama to announce a commitment from the private sector to hire 25,000 veterans and military spouses. Before the game, Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden spent time with veterans and military families at the St. Louis Veterans Center and answered MLB fans' questions in an online chat.
- Posted byon October 19, 2011 at 6:34 PM EDT
This afternoon, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden headed to St. Louis, Missouri for Game One of the World Series to meet with military families and recognize Major League Baseball’s (MLB) support of those who serve and their families.
During the game, a new Joining Forces and MLB Public Service Announcement will premiere featuring New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira and Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Johnny Damon, encouraging Americans to support Joining Forces and MLB’s Welcome Back Veterans program to stand with veterans, the troops and their families. Watch a sneak peek here.
- Posted byon October 19, 2011 at 3:08 PM EDT
This morning, President Obama visited Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia to talk about what he calls an "American responsibility" -- honoring and supporting our nation's veterans.
He was introduced by the First Lady, Michelle Obama, who joined the American Jobs Act Bus Tour to make an announcement as part of the Joining Forces initiative. Mrs. Obama told the soldiers, airmen, and military spouses gathered at Langley-Eustis that too often potential employers fail to recognize the skills and talents that veterans and military families can bring to a job -- but, she said, this is a trend that can change:
[Today], I am proud to announce that the American Logistics Association has said they’re going to step up and do something about that. So today they’re committing to hiring 25,000 veterans and military spouses in the next two years. They do not want to miss out on your potential. They want America’s businesses to have the best, most talented, most hardworking employees around. Now, this announcement is a huge deal -- which is why the President is here...This commitment includes 270 companies of all shapes and sizes, which makes this the largest coordinated effort by the private sector to hire veterans that we’ve seen in years. And this commitment puts us a quarter of the way toward reaching the President’s challenge to the private sector to hire or train 100,000 vets and military spouses by the end of 2013.
The President discussed an another initiative to get those who served in our nation's Armed Forces into the civilian workforce -- a series of tax credits for employers who hire veterans that's part of the American Jobs Act. He told the crowd that he was going to push Congress to vote on the proposal:
And one of the votes I’m going to urge members of Congress to take is on whether or not they think it’s a good idea to give companies an incentive to hire the men and women who have risked their lives for our country. And I’m hopeful we can get both parties on board for this idea. When I first proposed this idea in a joint session of Congress, people stood up and applauded on both sides of the aisle. So when it comes for a vote in the Senate, I expect to get votes from both sides of the aisle. Don’t just applaud about it, vote for it. Vote for it.
"Standing up for our veterans," President Obama said, "is not a Democratic responsibility or a Republican responsibility. It is an American responsibility."