September 9, 2009

While I have many problems with Obama's leadership on certain issues, there is one area where I won't fault him a bit: He's doing a wonderful job as a role model to kids everywhere.

The President of the United States has a lot in common with Philadelphia schoolchildren, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told a classroom full of them.

"He didn't know his dad," Sebelius, former governor of Kansas, said of President Obama. "He moved a lot. But he knew how important school was."

Sebelius, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Phila.) and Mayor Nutter watched the president's address to schoolchildren this afternoon at Thurgood Marshall Elementary, a K-8 school in Olney.

Sitting in a classroom with all the dignitaries was Teasia Squire, 12, a 7th grader. She sat up straight and never took her eyes off the big screen that projected the president's image into the room.

She was wowed by the speech, Teasia said.

"It was a wake up call," she said. "It was really good."

Her take away?

"We need to be in school, and we need to be our best," Teasia said.

Her social studies teacher, Crystal Gary-Nelson, was inspired by the message.

"I wrote down key quotes, and I'm going to post them throughout the year," Gary-Nelson said. "We're going to discuss this, and they'll have to take a pledge - 'This is what I pledge to do to help my nation.'"

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