Sunday, November 28, 2010

"Dear First Lady Michelle,"

NY Times (op-ed):
Ever since Barack Obama’s inauguration, the staff members and tutors at our nonprofit writing programs have marveled at how this presidency has percolated through student essays, stories and poems.

And it’s not just the president who has captured their attention — his wife, Michelle, has, too. From our students’ perspective, Mrs. Obama is glamorous but accessible, maternal but cool. They trust her.

So, earlier this fall, 826 National hosted a series of workshops inviting students to write to the first lady. The results were collected in the book “I Live Real Close to Where You Used to Live: Kids’ Letters to Michelle Obama (and to Sasha, Malia and Bo).”

Here is a sampling of what they came up with; some letters have been edited for space. — LAUREN HALL, grants director for 826 National.

Dear First Lady,

I am very vexed and sad about animal rights. Some cruel people abuse them or throw them away, and lots of animals are close to being extinct. When I think of how they feel, I cry for their suffering. Instead of complaining I decided to write ideas.

For starters, let’s not hunt endangered animals. If we hunt these animals, they’ll be extinct before we know all the information about them. I know that saying that we should all be vegetarians is too much, so how about we could just eat basic meats like cows, pigs, chicken and turkeys? That would help.

— JINHEE JUNG, age 11, Seattle


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