Serving with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service

I was so impressed by all the excitement and dedication shown by our school team of teachers and school staff, AmeriCorps service members, parents, and students in preparation for our day of service project. The entire team embodied the idea of a true day of service to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

The service day at Leckie Elementary School in Washington D.C. combined different stations ranging from planting and preparing raised planters to physical fitness activities to assembling bags of books about healthy living, all highlighting the First Lady’s Let’s Move! Initiative. I participated in the gardening portion of the service day as a FoodCorps service member, and I was able to chat with both the President and First Lady about spinach and how to garden.

The moment they both came to the planter, the President was interested in learning what to do, and the First Lady was ready to teach. I was impressed by the knowledge the First Lady has about gardening, as well as how willing the President was to engage and learn. As we chatted about spinach, one student professed that he had no interest in trying spinach which was met by earnest opposition from both the President and the First Lady. While the President said, “Spinach is outstanding… That’s how you stay healthy,” the First Lady asked, “Do you know how the President stays so smart?” The President quickly responded, “Because I eat my spinach!” Who could refuse such admonitions from two such influential people?

See more about Natalie planting with the President and First Lady in the Washington Poston the White House blog, and on Storify.