It’s easy to get up in the morning and go to work at First Book. I work with a fantastic group of people and I spend most of my day collaborating with amazing nonprofits and government agencies, which in turn leads to connecting their programs and classrooms to First Book’s resources. It’s a win-win. But last Tuesday was not a regular day at the office. I got up bright and early, stood in front of my closet and asked myself, “What do I wear when First Lady Michelle Obama is going to be in the room?” We all know she’s a fashion icon and well – my sister claims I am not. I decided to take the secret service approach and put on the good old black suit. I knew First Book’s stylish Executive Vice President, Chandler Arnold who was going with me would be looking handsome in his shiny suit and I didn’t want to be totally upstaged. I even ironed my blouse. My sister would be proud. You’re probably wondering why I’m talking about my wardrobe and why I would be hanging with the First Lady on a Tuesday. Well…
First Lady Michelle Obama and the Corporation for National and Community Service had an event at a DC recreational center to launch United We Serve: Let’s Read. Let’s Move. This initiative will get more Americans volunteering to combat childhood obesity and summer learning loss among youth. At the event, volunteers packed Healthy Lifestyle Kits as part of the initiative that included activity equipment, healthy snacks, and new books donated by First Book’s publishing partners Random House Children’s Book and Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing. The kits are being distributed to 3,000 children in D.C.
I did manage to blend in with the secret service, which naturally just made me want to talk into my sleeve. I refrained. The secret service look did help me move around the room to lend a helping hand to stuff bags, move boxes and run around as if it was my event for a couple of hours. I had a great time working with Congressional leaders and Americorp members. I even got to hug Congressman John Lewis. I did not hug the First Lady. My secret service friends would not have been happy with me. The First Lady even joined in the fun and was stuffing bags herself. I guess the First Lady got a memo that it was casual Tuesday, because she looked like she walked out of a J Crew catalog. I guess we don’t get the same memos, because as you know I was off to the side blending in, working hard in my black suit.
You might not get to stuff kits with the First Lady in a suit, but there’s a lot that you can do to promote this initiative. Click here to learn more about Let’s Read. Let’s Move.