Tag Archives: Congressional Spouses

First Lady Michelle Obama & Congressional Spouses Paint Murals and Plant Butterfly Garden at DC Elementary School

Posted by: Audiegrl

First Lady Michelle Obama plants a garden with Leonn Dickson, 10, left, Vladimir Leon, 10, and Farhana Alam, 9, students at Marie H. Reed Learning Center during a service project in Washington, on Thursday, April 29, 2010. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

AP~First Lady Michelle Obama brandished a paintbrush Thursday to add a little color to a mural at an elementary school in northwest Washington and demonstrate the value of community service.

Obama joined a group of congressional spouses at the Marie H. Reed Community Learning Center in the Adams Morgan neighborhood, where they painted murals of butterflies and flowers around a courtyard and helped plant a butterfly garden and a vegetable plot.

The event came a day after the Congressional Club’s annual luncheon.

“It’s so good that everybody has made a commitment to step out of our tea dresses and away from the crystal and to roll up our sleeves and be ready to paint and to get a little dirty,” said Obama, who arrived wearing canvas low-top sneakers and with her sleeves rolled up.

The first lady joked that school officials were taking a risk by entrusting their walls to well-intentioned but “not necessarily artistic people.”

Obama and the lawmakers’ spouses worked with students from the Reed Center and young people from two after-school programs that were recently honored at the White House: the Sitar Art Center and Higher Achievement, an academic enrichment program for middle school students. The students had outlined and painted the backgrounds for the murals ahead of time.

Adams Morgan is largely an immigrant neighborhood, and English is a second language for many students at the Reed Center. The school offers a dual-language Spanish-English program.

“I’m really excited because this is my dream come true,” fourth-grader Farhana Alam said before the first lady’s arrival. “I really wanted to see the president, but at least I could see his wife. My next dream is to go to the White House and shake hands with the president and make friendship with his daughters.”

Remarks by the First Lady at Congressional Service Event

Photos from AP, Reuters and our friends at Obama Foodorama, which has additional coverage of the event.

More @

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The First Lady used black, red and yellow paint to fill in one of the outlined butterflies. Underneath, she wrote a message: Dream big dreams! (Photo courtesy of Obama Foodorama)

Looking for more stories on the First Lady? Check out our brand new section: FLOTUS: All Things Michelle Obama


Filed under Childhood Obesity, First Lady Michelle Obama, Students, Uncategorized