April 9, 2009
Schoolchildren at Plummer Elementary School in Washington, D.C., learned that they would have the opportunity to participate in history by attending the largest and most inclusive Easter Egg Roll ever held at the White House. For the first time in the 131 years since the springtime celebration became an annual tradition on the south lawn, the White House will welcome visitors from 45 different states and Washington, D.C.—having distributed more tickets than ever before to a wide range of children and families from across the country.
Secretary Arne Duncan joined District of Columbia Mayor Adrian Fenty and District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) Chancellor Michelle Rhee at Plummer Elementary on the south-east side of the city to surprise a third-grade class with the announcement.
Mayor Fenty: Because of your hard work, President Barack Obama, who appointed Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, is going to acknowledge your hard work, and I will turn it over to the Secretary.
Secretary Duncan: Well, thank you. Who has heard of the Easter Egg Hunt at the White House? Has anyone ever heard of that? Who would like to go to that next week? Well, guess what? I have 2,000 tickets here and we are going to give them to the Mayor — it is not really for the Mayor.
Mayor Fenty: All of you.
Secretary Duncan: And this is 4,000 tickets to school children in this area, but 2,000 here to the DC Public Schools. This is what you guys have been working so hard for and Chancellor Rhee and Mayor Fenty doing such a great job of leading this. We love how all the schools we see are getting better. So we have 2,000 tickets to give out to kids around the city, and I hope I will sneak in my son and daughter. This is really important. We have kids from all over DC come to the White House and I mean this is the most tickets that have come out to this area in 130 years. This is a big, big deal. Maybe you can all come. Who would like to come next Monday to the White House? I'll look forward to seeing you there. So here is 2,000 tickets to the Mayor. Give yourself a round of applause.
Mayor Fenty: Anyone want to take a picture? These go to the Chancellor.
Chancellor Rhee: Thank you. All right, what do you say, what do you say?
Children: Thank you.
Chancellor Rhee: See you next weekend.
Secretary Duncan: Thank you for all the hard work guys. You did a great job. I am so proud of you.
Mayor Fenty: Happy Easter. Keep up the great work.