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Mrs. Obama’s Visit to Our School

My name is Irene Ledo. I have attended Philip's Academy Charter School in Newark, NJ since second grade. Honestly, I adore the way my school teaches life lessons, and one of the major lessons we learn is how to live healthy lives. From growing to cooking to eating, our school does it all. Through our EcoSpaces Education program, our school finds amazing ways to teach about the variety of different types of fruits and vegetables, one of them is actually growing them! We grow food on our rooftop garden and in our indoor growing lab, cook in our teaching kitchen and eat healthy meals in our Dining Room.

First Lady Michelle Obama talks with students about composting during their garden demonstrations at Philip's Academy Charter School in Newark, N.J., April 7, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

Something our school will always remember was the day the First Lady of the United States of America, better known as Michelle Obama, came to our school as part of her American Garden Tour. When she came some of my fellow students and I showed her how to plant a promising garden. She also went down and ate healthy snacks in our Dining Room. Our Dining Room is not like any other school cafeteria. In our Dining Room, we focus on making the healthiest and yummiest meals. Normally I eat healthy and tasty meals from something called a salad bar as well as our soup bar. This is where students can choose for themselves a variety of fruits, vegetables, beans and grains. From arugula to kimchi, our chef, cooks and students will make whatever healthy thoughts come to mind. Now this brings me up to the teaching kitchen where Ms. Haley, our FoodCorps Service Member, Ms. Flowers, our EcoSpaces teacher, or Mr. Mentesana, the EcoSpaces Director, will teach one class at a time about making healthy and tasty choices by cooking recipes with us.  

First Lady Michelle Obama and Al Roker are shown the Aero-Farm garden by a student at Philip's Academy Charter School in Newark, N.J., April 7, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

When I first came to this school, I did not know much about healthy living or how it felt. I did not know how to grow food or cook, and if I did not come, I still would not know how. And I am so grateful for when Mrs. Obama came to our school. We at Philip's Academy Charter School will never forget it. I wanted to say thank you to Mrs. Obama for her visit because she reminded us all, and especially me, about the importance of healthy living and making good choices.