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President Obama to Address Nation's Schoolchildren
September 6, 2009

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President Obama will deliver a live address to American schoolchildren at noon Eastern Time on Tuesday, September 7. The address will last 15–20 minutes and focus on the importance of staying in school and getting a good education.

Critics of the President have charged that the speech will be an attempt to sway children to the President's political point of view. The Obama Administration insists that no such "campaigning" will go on; rather, the President will speak directly to students and implore them to put their education first.

Obama is not the first U.S. president to give such a direct speech to schoolchildren. Former Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. Bush gave similar talks.

The U.S. Department of Education has issued classroom activities to be done in anticipation of and during the President's speech. Those activities can be found here (for Grade 6 and below) and here for grades 7–12.

The speech will be published on the White House website on Monday, the day before the speech. Parents and teachers are urged to view the text of the speech ahead of time.

On the day, the White House website will carry the speech live, as will C-SPAN. Students are then urged to record a two-minute video and upload it to YouTube by October 8. Twenty finalists will be chosen by a public audience, and a final panel including Education Secretary Arne Duncan will name three winnedrs, each of whom will receive, among other things $1,000.


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