Michelle Obama Starts ‘Making Drinking Water Cool’ in New York

First Lady Michelle Obama speaks with a student at the New Museum today.

First Lady Michelle Obama speaks with a student at the New Museum today.

First Lady Michelle Obama touched down in the city today, where she will be appearing at a Democratic fund-raiser and filming a Tonight Show appearance. But before she hangs out with Jimmy Fallon, Ms. Obama stopped by the New Museum in downtown Manhattan to greet a few star-struck eighth graders.

Ms. Obama appeared with the students at an art exhibit in order to promote the health benefits of drinking water. She chatted with the students briefly and took time to sign a mural in the museum’s exhibition room downstairs.

“I am honored to be here and so proud of you guys,” Ms. Obama told the class of students from Little Red Elisabeth Irwin School. “Thank you so much for this and keep it up, keep it up you guys are role models for so many kids, the fact that you guys can be involved in something this huge and exhibit this kind of creativity all over country is like a once in a lifetime thing, so you should feel very excited because I certainly am and this is really, really, really good.”

Mr. Obama was visiting WAT-AAH!’s Taking Back the Streets exhibit, a collaboration between 14 artists that joined street art and children’s health in honor of the Drink Up Initiative, a program that encourages American kids to drink more water. Ms. Obama, who has focused on improving the physical health of the public as first lady, mostly marveled at the work the students were doing.

“It is so important for youth to be inspired by the power of art and this art is creating such an important message,” said Sophia Rose Stewart-Chapman, a 13-year-old at the school tasked with delivering prepared remarked to Ms. Obama. “By making drinking water cool, I’m learning that young people just like me can take control of our health.”

Ms. Obama didn’t stay too long. But she did sign a “Drink Up!” mural to much applause and even amusement.

“Look at that, you’re tagging, you’re bombing Michelle Obama!” a man in the audience cried.

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