How a former White House photographer helped these D.C. kids learn

By Sarah Larimer for The Washington Post

In this elementary school, there are things a visitor might notice, little touches that become obvious walking through the door. Children’s artwork is hung carefully, showing that it is valued.

And there is this: It often is not super quiet around here.

“We keep our instrumental and vocal music classrooms on the first floor,” Principal Akela Stanfield-Dogbe said. “So you’re always hearing sounds. So it sounds and feels like an art space.”

This is Moten Elementary, a public school in Southeast Washington. Moten is part of the national Turnaround Arts school program, which means it emphasizes the arts, integrating them throughout the school.

“Every child deserves to have good, solid arts programming,” said Stanfield-Dogbe, calling it a “driver for creating excellent schools.”

On Thursday, Moten did have a visitor: Amanda Lucidon, a former White House photographer. Lucidon, author of “Chasing Light: Michelle Obama Through the Lens of a White House Photographer,” was met that day by student ambassadors carrying bright greeting cards and by a line of kindergartners, all holding tiny French flags.

“Bonjour!” said the kids, who are enrolled in a French immersion class. It was pretty charming, and that was before they started to sing.

Read more here.

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