Melania: 'We must teach children to be good stewards of the world'

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U.S. first lady Melania Trump clasps hands with a child as she visits the Joint Base Andrews Youth Center in Maryland, U.S., September 15, 2017.
U.S. first lady Melania Trump clasps hands with a child as she visits the Joint Base Andrews Youth Center in Maryland, U.S., September 15, 2017. Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

United States First Lady Melania Trump has launched the anti-bullying campaign she had promised during the election. She talked about anti-bullying on Monday during a surprise visit to a Michigan middle school with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

Monday marked Melania’s first public outing dedicated to anti-bullying education. A press release from the White House states that the FLOTUS and DeVos visited Orchard Lake Middle School in West Bloomfield, Michigan for the “Week of Inclusion” component of National Bullying Prevention Month. Since there had been no announcement prior to the visit, only a few reporters were in attendance.

The White House press release adds that the first lady will spend time in the school’s Viking Huddle Class, a sixth grade classroom that focuses on social emotional learning. She will observe and participate in lessons about respect for others, according to the release.

No One Eats Alone

Aside from the classroom participation, Melania visited seventh and eighth grade students in the school's cafeteria. It was part of an effort to bring awareness to “No One Eats Alone.”

Melania’s spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham tweeted about the first lady’s effort to reduce "social isolation" of schoolchildren. “I encourage you all to find a new friend, get to know new things about them- don’t let anyone sit alone,” Melania told students.

US President Donald Trump’s spouse encouraged to choose kindness and compassion. In a statement, the FLOTUS also confirmed the visit, saying it was part of her ongoing commitment to the overall well-being of children. She added that by “our own example,” kids must be taught to be good stewards of the world.

Melania also said adults must remember that kids are always listening and watching. “It is our responsibility to take the lead in teaching children the values of empathy and communication that are at the core of kindness, mindfulness, integrity, and leadership,” her statement reads.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Melania said she planned to fight cyber-bullying of children. In September, Melania spoke about cyberbullying and other issues during a luncheon at the United Nations.

She was also involved on fighting the opioid addiction crisis and accompanied US President Donald Trump on overseas trips and visits to areas hit by hurricanes. One of the first lady’s recent appearances was on Friday when she appeared at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History for a ceremony where she officially handed over her Hervé Pierre-designed inaugural gown to the museum.