FW: Spousal Program pool report #1, 10/18/16

-----Original Message-----
From: Davis, Julie [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Tuesday, October 18, 2016 11:45 AM
To: Donohue, Kelsey A. EOP/WHO ; Drake, Tiffany L. EOP/WHO ; Rosholm, Joanna S. EOP/WHO ; Morales, Caroline A. EOP/WHO ; Vrazilek, Lauren S. EOP/WHO
Subject: Spousal Program pool report #1, 10/18/16

Spousal Program pool report #1, 10/18/16 – White House Kitchen Garden student performance

At 10:40 on an unseasonably hot morning under a cloudless sky, First Lady Michelle Obama and Agnese Landini, the wife of visiting Prime Minister Matteo Renzi of Italy, strolled down a cream-colored carpet that had been laid over a section of the South Lawn leading to the White House Kitchen Garden. Mrs. Obama smiled broadly and waved with both hands when she caught sight of the children ready to perform, saying “Hello!” and “It’s a perfect day.”

Mrs. Obama wore a sleeveless black and white patterned dress with gold shimmer woven throughout, a jeweled collar and a pleated skirt, and black and gold checked flats. Mrs. Landini wore a forest green fitted lace dress with short sleeves, and black flats. They took seats next to each other on a wooden bench facing the newly installed and dedicated arbor and flagstone threshold of the Kitchen Garden, as bumblebees buzzed around bright-red blooms next to a bed of cherry tomatoes. On another bench next to them, the following took seats: Mrs. Obama’s chief of staff Tina Tchen; Linda Douglass, the wife of John Philipps, the United States ambassador to Italy; and Micaela Barbagallo, the wife of the Italian ambassador to the U.S.

Megan Beyer, the executive director of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, introduced the Savoy Players, students from Savoy Elementary in Washington, D.C.'s Anacostia neighborhood. The school is part of the Turnaround Arts Initiative, a program to integrate the arts into the curriculums of struggling schools to improve performance and student and parent engagement. Beyer said the program had improved math and reading scores and spiked enrollment and parent involvement at the targeted schools.

The first routine was a dance and rap duet by a boy in black pants and an orange t-shirt and a girl in a turquoise leotard dress. Mrs. Obama nodded her head and clapped along to the rhythm as the kids sang about empowerment and honesty. “We are young, and we are positive. We are the future, we’re gonna tell it like it is.” “Woo!” Mrs. Obama cheered when they were done.

The second act was a different boy and girl singing a duet of “The Greatest Love of All,” while six girls dressed in matching turquoise dresses danced behind them. Mrs. Obama swayed the entire time.

“Ah, yay you guys!” Mrs. Obama said when the performance was over. She and Mrs. Landini went over to the arbor to pose for a picture with the kids, and the first lady dispensed hugs as they crowded around her. At the back of the garden, a wooden table under a red umbrella was set with china tea cups and tall glasses of ice. The East Wing informs your pool that the spouses were to have tea in the newly created space, which was added to allow both students and heads of state to visit and enjoy the garden.

More from the East Wing: “The First Lady last met with Ms. Landini in Milan during the Mrs. Obama's visit to the USA Pavilion “American Food 2.0” at Expo Milano 2015 where she led the U.S. Delegation.  Mario Batali, guest chef for tonight's State Dinner, was a member of the U.S. Delegation led by the First Lady to Expo Milano 2015.”

The tent that will house this evening’s formal dinner was visible from the garden, and chefs and other staff were wheeling large trays of food down the driveway as your spousal pool took its position. We were led in as the Rose Garden was receiving its finishing touches before the joint news conference of President Obama and Renzi. A Marine string quartet was playing chamber music as the ladies headed for tea and your spousal pool was led away.

/jhd

Julie Hirschfeld Davis
White House Correspondent
The New York Times
xxx@email.com

(202) xxx-xxx-xxxx mobile
(202) xxx-xxx-xxxx direct

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