First lady Melania Trump revealed her formal “BE BEST” platform at a White House Rose Garden ceremony, focusing on the multi-faceted well-being of children, adults’ responsibility in teaching children life skills, and pledging to shine a light on those who exemplify helping children overcome many issues.
The event opened with a video narrated by the first lady. She spoke of her experience as first lady thus far and her desire to nurture and protect the most valuable part of our society, children.
First Lady Melania Trump unveils formal “BE BEST” policy initiative to a host of children and administration officials in White House Rose Garden pic.twitter.com/jFs8aEySX6
— Michelle Moons (@MichelleDiana) May 7, 2018
She expressed her concern that in this day and age, “Children can be less prepared to express or manage their emotions and oftentimes turn to forms of destructive or addictive behavior such as bullying, drug addiction, or even suicide.” Mrs. Trump said she feels “strongly that as adults, we can and should BE BEST at educating our children about the importance of a healthy and balanced life.”
Mrs. Trump defined “BE BEST” as:
…an awareness campaign dedicated to the most valuable and fragile among us — our children. There is one goal to BE BEST — and that is to educate children about the many issues they are facing today. If we truly listen to what our kids have to say, whether it be their concerns or ideas, adults can provide them the support and tools they need to grow up to be happy and productive adults who contribute positively to society and their global communities.
She said that every child deserves “every opportunity to enjoy their innocence. Every child should know it is safe to make mistakes and that there are supportive adults and friends nearby to catch them if they fall.”
The first lady said there would be three main pillars to her BE BEST campaign: well-being, social media use, and opioid abuse.
Mrs. Trump placed a great deal of responsibility on adults for teaching “children the importance of all aspects of [children’s] well-being, which includes social, emotional, and physical health.”
She highlighted young Pennsylvanian Christian Bucks for his 2nd grade invention, the “Buddy Bench” to “address loneliness and help other kids build new friendships.”
She recalled her 2016 campaign trail visit to Lily’s Place in West Virginia and what she first learned about the effects on infants born to drug-addicted parents. She then recalled a trip to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital last February when “a panel of doctors briefed me on the devastating effects that opioids are having, but also their important research on neonatal abstinence syndrome.”
The first lady pledged to:
…make every effort to BE BEST at championing the many successful well-being programs in existence today that teach the tools and skills for emotional, social, and physical well-being. I will also work to shine a spotlight on the people, organizations, and programs across the country that are helping children overcome the many issues they face as they grow up.
President Donald Trump joined his wife at the ‘BE BEST’ unveiling, where he signed a proclamation declaring May 7 as “Be Best” day.
In March a Chicago Tribune reporter attacked the first lady with claims that she wasn’t doing her job – this despite Trump’s several trips to children’s hospitals and schools as well as holding events to combat online bullying and speaking out on the harmful affects of opioids on newborns.
She has also participated in events with her husband including honoring military veterans and visiting hurricane ravaged areas of the U.S. The media attacked her for the shoes she wore to get on the plane for one of those trips, although when she arrived, she had changed shoes.
Last December the first lady participated in a Toys for Tots event where she remembered the hurricane victims and encouraged Americans to “continue with that giving spirit over Christmas and in New Year.”
First lady Melania Trump closed Monday’s event with hope “that together, we can BE BEST at helping children and families find effective ways to educate themselves and support each other.” She asked the nation to join her in “providing support and guidance to our children so that we can make a real difference. How we raise and educate our children on a variety of topics will provide the blueprint for the next generation.”
Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana