First Lady Melania Trump met with a group of children on Monday, April 9, and showed compassion to one boy who accidentally knocked water over in the Blue Room of the White House. As reported by Julie Hirschfeld Davis, a White House correspondent with The New York Times, in her report titled “Subject: FLOTUS Pool Report #1, 4/9/18 — Melania Trump holds student listening session,” Melania had an eventful day.
Melania spoke in a student discussion about issues facing the children as White House reporters were allowed to chronicle the event in the Blue Room. Mrs. Trump met with 13 students – 10 of whom attended public schools, with the remaining students representing two home-schooled children and one child who attends a public charter school.
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos also attended the session as the students sat at six desks in front of two smart boards. One smart board can be seen illuminated in the above photo behind Melania. While waiting for Melania to arrive, the kids were asked about keeping journals by DeVos, who urged the children to write down their memories of their visit to the White House as keepsakes decades later.
Words written on the smart board included ones about compassion, communication, education, curiosity, caring and more. It was after Melania was introduced by Education Secretary DeVos that the highlights of the session occurred, including the unintentional spillage of the water.
Melania entered the room at 3:01 p.m., offering a “cheery” greeting to the students in the room. As seen above, Melania’s red sweater and zip-up skirt gained enough attention to be included in the reporter’s pool report.
After asking the children to say their names and divulge their interests, Melania got the ball rolling by writing that she felt “excited” on the smart board.
“I’m very excited that you’re here today with me, and thank you in advance for sharing your stories and your thoughts about your struggles and challenges. I want to help children everywhere to be their best, so with your help, we can achieve positive results. So, I feel today very excited and thankful because you’re here and we’re opening up the conversation. Yes?”
The group of children who partook by raising their hands and sharing their feelings – made up of five boys and one girl – began to write their own emotions on one of the blank smart boards. A boy wrote that he felt “respected,” while another boy admitted that he felt “nervous.”
There was a “happy” boy, but the only girl shared feeling “responsible” for the others. Lastly, a boy wrote about feeling “energized.” The same boy that was full of energy accidentally toppled the glass of water near Melania’s chair. The glass of water fell onto the blue carpet, causing the boy to gasp and say “Ooohh” loudly.
Melania quickly comforted the boy by placing her hand on his shoulder and letting him know that his accidental spillage was no problem, just as the press was escorted out of the room. Davis has asked for the name of the water-spiller, noting that he now has a memorable entry for his journal and an interaction with Melania that he’ll likely never forget.
“No problem. Don’t worry. It’s just water, OK? No worry at all. It happens.”