November 20, 2017

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Picture/Video of the Week: Sixth Grader Osman Yaya Interviews President Obama

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President Barack Obama was interviewed by sixth grader Osman Yaya, a student at Wicomico County Public Schools’ Bennett Middle School in Salisbury, MD, during Discovery Education’s  Virtual Field Trip at Anacostia Library in Washington, DC, on Thursday, April 30.

The President announced broad initiatives to support libraries and student reading with a free ebook program and universal library cards. Answering questions, he told Yaya and assembled middle schoolers that that he enjoyed Dr. Seuss when he was a kid, along with the “Hardy Boys” and “The Lord of the Rings.” “I’m still a big Dr. Seuss fan—The Sneeches, Horton, and all that stuff,” he said. “I also enjoyed reading science books. I loved reading about planets and dinosaurs.”

The President went on to talk about the importance of math and science and urged girls to study these subjects. “We’re trying to encourage more young people to study math and science,” he said. “Not everyone’s going to be an engineer, but everyone should have the basics of how the world works. You might decide you want to program and create your own apps.”

“Particularly for the young ladies here, I encourage you to look at math and science,” he added. “Young women aren’t going into those areas as much, and they should…. Sometimes they’re discouraged, thinking traditionally that’s more of a boy thing…. You don’t want go to get pushed aside just because you’re a girl.”

He also discussed his motivations for running for president. “The people who really inspired me were people who were bringing something back to the community or making something better,” He said.I was really inspired by the civil rights movement, Dr. King, and the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.”

“I’ll be done being president in a couple of years,” Obama added. “I’ll still be a pretty young man, so I’ll go back to doing the kind of work I was doing before. Help young people get educations, help people get jobs, bring businesses into neighborhoods that don’t have enough business. That’s the kind of work I really love to do.“

Watch the video of Osman Yaya’s interview with the President.

Sarah Bayliss About Sarah Bayliss

Sarah Bayliss (sbayliss@mediasourceinc.com, @shbayliss) is associate editor, news and features, at School Library Journal.

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