By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Last week, a class of Carver Elementary kindergartners received a letter from the president of the United States.
The students in Andrea Loberg’s class had written Barack Obama a month earlier about their daily exercise routine. They did not know they would receive a response. Then on Monday came an envelope from the White House containing a signed letter and photograph of the president, as well as photos of the White House and Obama’s dog and a pamphlet with a question-and-answer from the president.
“They are so motivated by it,” Loberg said. “They think it is wonderful that the president and leader of our country would write to them.
“They can be role models to others about the importance of exercising.”
Her students have been undertaking the exercise routine throughout the year. They begin with several stretches: twisting their neck, bending their back, touching their toes and reaching for the stars. They then rotate their arms in circles and bend their waist to grab the ground. They also do wall sits, jumping jacks, push-ups, sit-ups or beanbag tosses nearly every day in their classroom.
“I was getting married in March and was having a hard time being motivated to exercise,” Loberg said. “We started doing this in the class, and they would remind me and keep me motivated.
“I want them to know they need to keep that lifestyle up, and they need to keep their exercise going. I want them to know how important it is to eat healthy.”
After a grandmother of one of the students told Loberg how she had written the president, the teacher had the idea to try the same thing. The students brainstormed ideas and finally settled on writing about fitness, an important topic the to first lady.
“We thought that would be a wonderful thing to write about because not everyone does it,” Loberg said. “They wrote about what they did in the classroom and the benefits of it.”
They used their Promethean projector to display several possible topics, and each student wrote a letter to Obama.
In his response, Obama thanked them for writing and said he is “continually inspired by the enthusiasm and bright ideas of young Americans.”
“Young people like you are America’s future, and whether we fall behind or race ahead as a Nation will depend largely on your generation,” he said. “As you grow and learn, remember that our country is counting on you to be a dedicated and hard-working student.”
The class has framed the response for its classroom.
“I really liked the autographed picture,” said student Caleb Bowers. “It is cool.”