SF prepares for Michelle Obama's visit

June 22, 2009 9:49:03 AM PDT
Right now one of San Francisco's toughest neighborhoods is making final preparations to host the first lady. Michelle Obama will be in the Bayview to deliver a message about volunteering and help build a special playground. In preparation for Obama's visit, San Francisco police have been taking bomb sniffing dogs around Bret Harte Elementary. The first lady will be helping to build a playground and plant a garden in the neighborhood.

When residents of the Alice Griffith Housing Project found out that the First Lady of the United States is paying a visit to the elementary school right across the street -- they almost couldn't believe it.

"I think it's a blessing. That's what I think it is," said Alice Griffith Housing Project resident Shamica Simpson.

Michelle Obama is in town as part of a White House push for volunteerism. She'll deliver the keynote address before the National Conference on Volunteering and Service at the Moscone Center too.

At Bret Harte Elementary she'll be joined by California First Lady Maria Shriver as hundreds of volunteers erect a new play structure, plant a garden and paint a mural.

"I tell them to speak out loud. I say use your Barack Obama voice. They're all about it. They really love it. I think this is going to be wonderful for them," said 3rd grade teacher Benjamin Klaus.

"It's actually a surprise for a lot of the kids out here because we were just notified recently and they're out of school, so a lot of the kids are in for a great big surprise," said said Jen Demelo, project manager for Kaboom.

A big surprise and an inspirational one too.

"I think that message is telling us that we can do it, if we keep doing it and try hard, go to school, get good grades and be very determined, you can be the first lady," said Simpson.


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