Another California school is celebrating former US first lady Michelle Obama’s contributions to education in a big way.
The West Contra Costa Unified School District Board (WCCUSD) voted on Wednesday to rename Wilson Elementary School in Richmond, California to Michelle Obama Elementary School.
Over 400 students from kindergarten to 6th grade attend Woodrow Elementary, previously named after the 28th US president Woodrow Wilson. The building is currently closed for reconstruction and classes are being held on a temporary campus in the neighboring city El Cerrito. Michelle Obama Elementary will open in August for the 2020-2021 school year.
Wilson Elementary’s parent-teacher association (PTA) first proposed the idea to rename the school in a letter to the school board. The group then met to gather input from parents and community members and voted unanimously for the name change at a meeting on Jan. 23.
"She [Michelle Obama] advocates for education, she advocates for poverty, for nutrition, and healthy living," PTA President Maisha Cole said, according to ABC.
Obama has used her platform to stand up for education through various initiatives including the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act 2010 and the Obama Foundation’s Girls Alliance. She recently partnered with the organization Room to Read and visited Vietnam to highlight the need to keep girls in school.
“The parents and students advocated to rename their school after Michelle Obama because they believe the values our former first lady embodies and the educational, child-centered causes she champions, are representative of what we all aspire to nurture in our school communities,” WCCUSD Board President Stephanie Hernandez-Jarvis said in a statement.
"She is a role model for our children and we strive to serve our students with the same kind of love, advocacy, and courage that she served our country,” she added.