8th Grade Poet Invited to the White House

Posted May 11, 2011


Lucy Beers Shenk was invited to the White House on May 11, 2011, to participate in a poetry symposium orchestrated by First Lady Michelle Obama. Lucy, who is in the 8th grade, was a Scholastic/Alliance for Young Artists and Writers National Medal Winner for poetry. One of the youngest writers chosen to attend, Lucy spent the day at a workshop in the State Dining Room with such notables as Poet Laureates Billy Collins and Rita Dove, Kenneth Goldsmith, and of course, Mrs. Obama.

Of her experience, Lucy said, "It was unreal. On our way there, I was really nervous and felt kind of sick. I'd only found out a few hours before and then suddenly, it was a Wednesday morning and I wasn't in school but on my way to the White House!

When we got there, we waited in line and then went through a lot of security. Then they brought us into the East Wing and we walked past the Kennedy Garden and the White House movie theater, and into the main building. It was amazing. It was really cool to see the famous portrait of John Kennedy looking down - especially because I'd just seen Caroline Kennedy in person!

Mrs. Obama was great -- really calm and chill -- and she really meant what she was saying about how she had wanted to be a writer when she was a kid. It was inspiring to hear from her. And the whole time, I was thinking 'Wow, I'm in the White House.'

But I couldn't make security jokes!"

For a full list of all of the Middle School Scholastic writing winners, click here. Upper School Scholastic writing winners are listed here. Scholastic art awardees are listed here.

To watch video of the event, click here.

Lucy Beers Shenk was invited to the White House on May 11, 2011, to participate in a poetry symposium orchestrated by First Lady Michelle Obama. Lucy, who is in the 8th grade, was a Scholastic/Alliance for Young Artists and Writers National Medal Winner for poetry. One of the youngest writers chosen to attend, Lucy spent the day at a workshop in the State Dining Room with such notables as Poet Laureates Billy Collins and Rita Dove, Kenneth Goldsmith, and of course, Mrs. Obama.

For more details, click here.

To watch video of the event, click here.

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