I just needed to get away from the White House for awhile. Who wants ice cream? (ap)
President Obama today took an unannounced trip to Viers Mill Elementary School in Silver Spring, Md. Viers was the first Title 1 school in Montgomery County to win the National Blue Ribbon (in 2005) for significantly closing the achievement gap between white and minority students.
During his visit, Obama talked up reading with third and fourth-graders during their lunch period. The school motto is “Read, Read, Read!”
“So you guys are readers,” Obama said. “And so, being a reader myself, I wanted to come meet all these outstanding readers. Because you guys are reading so much and you're working so hard, you guys are doing great in terms of your test scores and how this school is doing. And so this was just a great example of how much improvement a school can make just in a really short time when you've got motivated kids.”
He added, “So I wanted to come by and introduce myself, to say I'm very proud of you.”
That's nice. The president spent about 30 minutes mingling and discussing the kids' latest books — Harry Potter, “Goosebumps,” and “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” which he said Sasha and Malia found “hilarious.” He mentioned the book, “Where the Wild Things Are” and said he'd just seen and liked the movie.
What was Obama doing visiting a local school? It has nothing to do with whatever is going on with him right now — Afghanistan, health care, climate, fund-raising. Not coincidentally, perhaps, the White House today announced the the stimulus spending “saved or created” 250,000 education jobs.
Another theory: Obama skipped his weekly golf game yesterday and needed a mind-clearing trip away from the West Wing. As the kids say, “how random.”