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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Michelle Obama Week

Our First Lady, Michelle Obama, continues to stay busy.  In this episode of 'Keeping of With The First Lady' we've highlighted some of the activities she's participated this week, as well as give you a peek inside her upcoming schedule.

For starters, the First Lady made a cameo appearance in an edition of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition that aired last evening. Next we find her looking fabulous at this year's Congressional Black Caucus Phoenix Awards Dinner on Saturday evening.  Read below for these events, and more.

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
First Lady Michelle Obama traveled to Fayetteville, North Carolina to join Extreme Makeover: Home Edition as they build a dream home for an African American woman veteran, Barbara Marshall and her family. Barbara Marshal had a 15 year career in the Navy but her service to her country didn't stop there. Marshall went on to combat homelessness among female veterans and military families in the Fayetteville area by welcoming them in her own home. The First Lady will appear on the Season Premiere of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition tonight (ABC) at 7PM EST.

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Michelle Obama wowed again at this year's annual Congressional Black Caucus Phoenix Award dinner honoring Congressman John Lewis, entrepreneur and former boxer George Forman, and Reverend Joseph LoweryPresident Obama spoke at the dinner where he solicited help from the attendees to help him fight the latest (and possibly the most important feat of his presidential career) project --- putting Americans back to work.

First Lady Michelle Obama at the 41st Annual Legislative Conference of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Lauding his previous successes (health care ,extending unemployment insurance, expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit) the president, now fighting Congress to get his Jobs Bill passed, said to the near 3,000 attendees, "So in these hard years, we’ve won a lot of fights that needed fighting and we’ve done a lot of good.  But we’ve got more work to do.  So many people are still hurting.  So many people are still barely hanging on.  And too many people in this city are still fighting us every step of the way.  So I need your help.  We have to do more to put people to work right now.  We’ve got to make that everyone in this country gets a fair shake, and a fair shot, and a chance to get ahead.  And I know we won’t get where we need to go if we don’t travel down this road together.  I need you with me. "   

Educator Talks With Us About Her 'I Am Michelle Obama' Children's Book
We caught up with Margina Graham Parker author of the children's book 'I Am Michelle Obama: The First Lady

Parker was at the author's pavilion at this year's Congressional Black Caucus book fair event. 
While many compliment the First Lady for her tremendous sense of fashion, Parker choses to also highlight the First Lady's accomplishments as wife, mother, and college educated career woman.

Said Parker, "After finding out she holds two degrees from Ivy League schools, is an accomplished woman, a great mother, and obviously a great wife, she's letting young girls know you can do all that and look good as well."

Added Parker, "She is the backbone of our president."

Turning off the TV: With Nickelodeon
First Lady Michelle Obama “turned off” Nickelodeon for 3 hours today to encourage kids to go outside and play and to celebrate the success of the Million PALA Challenge, a joint initiative of Let’s Move! and the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition (PCFSN). Launched in September 2010, the Million PALA Challenge was created to motivate one million Americans to get active and earn the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA) in a year.  Since the start of the challenge, more than 1.7 million Americans have gotten active and earned their PALA, far exceeding the initiative’s goal.

“I’m so proud of all the kids and families who rose to the challenge and got active this year,” said First Lady Michelle Obama, who earned her PALA last fall. “The Million PALA Challenge helped shine a spotlight on the childhood obesity epidemic and I know we can all keep up the momentum and keep moving to help our kids lead healthy, active lives.”

“Congratulations to all of the PALA achievers, especially those who took that first step to jumpstart a healthy lifestyle,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.  “Not only did we meet our goal, we exceeded it and we are not finished yet.”

PALA is a long-standing PCFSN program that rewards youth who are active for 60 minutes a day and adults 30 minutes a day, five days a week for six out of eight weeks. Today, the First Lady also announced the launch of PALA+, a new and improved PALA that incorporates elements of MyPlate and is designed to motivate Americans to make physical activity and healthy eating part of their daily life. 

The First Lady's Upcoming Schedule
On Monday First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden will host a lunch in honor of Mrs. Deborah Mullen, wife of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mullen, who will be retiring this week. Spouses of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and National Guard Bureau leadership will also be in attendance. Mrs. Mullen has been a tireless advocate for military families. Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden have worked with Mrs. Mullen for the past two years, specifically on Joining Forces, the initiative they launched to support military families and veterans.

In addition, First Lady Michele Obama will speak at an event about the importance of supporting and retaining women and girls in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers.  At this East Room event, the National Science Foundation will make an announcement about retaining women in STEM fields.

First Lady Graces Cover of Essence Magazine
First Lady Michelle Obama graces the cover of ESSENCE’s October issue with a revealing interview highlighting ESSENCE and the First Lady’s shared commitment to women and girls around the world.

In the article, “The Leading Lady,” she reflects on what she calls the “big, bright light” of her power as First Lady -- and she shares her mission to impart a critical message to young women: that where she is now is attainable with hard work. More here


Even More Michelle O!
Read Michelle Obama's Op-ed in The Fayetteville Observer: Military Families Deserve the Spotlight here.

**Update** September 28, 2011
The First Lady, a bit casual, goes shopping at Target on Route 1 in Alexandria.  (We go there all the time! But missed Lady O!)


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