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Posted at 4:20 PM ET, 12/17/2010

Video: Obama reads to Long Branch second graders

By Christy Goodman


President Barack Obama made a surprise stop at Long Branch Elementary School in Arlington on Friday afternoon.

"I wanted to come by because it is the holiday season. My girls are getting older now so they don't always let me read to them, so I wanted to borrow you guys and read to you," Obama told the children, many of whom are members of military families stationed at Fort Myer.

The president read from his book, "Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters." Their family dog, Bo, makes "a guest appearance," said the president, who then asked the students if they had dogs at home.

"I think you guys are going to do great things when you grow up and I feel the same way about my daughters," said the president, who spoke to the children about a few of the people he highlights in his book, such as Albert Einstein and Jackie Robinson.

The second graders were well-behaved and answered the president's questions, often in unison. The constant shutter clicks from the White House press pool's cameras were the only things that distracted the children from listening to their stories. Obama told them, "They follow me everywhere."

He got their attention back by reading from "Twas The Night Before Christmas," making sure to show the kids the pictures. The group stopped mid-story to discuss if it would hurt to slide down a chimney and what kinds of cookies the children liked to leave Santa.

Obama made sure to tell the kids to be kind to others during the holidays and took questions. After his half-hour visit, the president participated in a group photo with the students and left a signed copy of his book in the library as a present.


By Christy Goodman  | December 17, 2010; 4:20 PM ET
Categories:  Arlington County, Barack Obama, Christy Goodman  
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