“Dear First Lady Michelle” — Young Students Write to the Obamas

Kids ask about everything from divorce to immigration policy.

By Jorge Rivas Nov 30, 2010

Earlier this year, 826 National, a literary non-profit, hosted a series of workshops across the country inviting students to write to First Lady Michelle Obama. The letters, written by students ages six to eighteen, have been turned ino an anthology called "I Live Real Close to Where You Used to Live: Kids’ Letters to Michelle Obama (and to Sasha, Malia and Bo)."

Dear First Lady Michelle Obama,

My parents are divorced. I am having trouble moving on. Do you have any tips? I am confused and sad.

— MAI ROBINSON, age 9, Los Angeles

Dear Michelle Obama,

I think your husband should legalize immigration. Please put a statue of me in Echo Park. Thank you. J.K. No, really. I want a tuxedo on the statue.

— ANDRES ORTEGA, age 11, Los Angeles

Lauren Hall, the book’s editor and grants director at 826 National, says the letters offer insight at how this presidency has captured students’ attention. In a New York Times opinion piece published Saturday, Hall said "It’s not just the president who has captured their attention — his wife, Michelle, has, too. From our students’ perspective, Mrs. Obama is glamorous but accessible, maternal but cool. They trust her."

Dear Obama family,

I am going to be in the second grade. Do you get a lot of threats? I have nine rooms in my house. I would like to be the first woman to become president. Our dads know each other.

— MIKAELA EWING, age 7, Chicago

Dear Michelle,

My name is Sebastian and I did a report on you. I learned that you were raised on the South Side of Chicago and also that you visit school kids to help them study. I am tall and I like to sleep a lot, but some days I wake up early.

— SEBASTIAN MARTINEZ, age 13, Brooklyn

Dear First Lady,

Could you tell Obama to stop the war because people are dying and give paper to the people that do not have paper? Also my dad works for the city. Can you give him more money? His name is Manuel and he is in the airport. And how many rooms are there in the White House? I live in 4142. The manager does not let us have a dog and people that live there have a dog. Could you tell the manager we got to have our dog back? Thank you.

— OSCAR CASTRO, age 9, Los Angeles

826 National is a family of nonprofit organizations dedicated to helping students, ages six to eighteen, with expository and creative writing. Proceeds from the book will help fund 826 programs and chapters around the country.