Obamas encourage world to Let girls learn At left. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama announce their Let Girls Learn initiative (AP photo / Thinkstock)
Obamas encourage world to Let girls learn
Lexile

"Let girls learn."

That's what President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, are saying. And America is supporting the slogan.

Saying every girl "has value," President Barack Obama has announced a more focused government effort. The U.S. wants to help millions of girls around the world. The effort would focus on girls attending and staying in school. Michelle Obama said she will go to Japan and Cambodia to promote it.

The president said that he wants to help make sure that "no girl out there is denied her chance to be a strong, capable woman." Yet more than 60 million girls are being denied schooling for a variety of reasons, he said.

Obama said the U.S. works quietly to support educating girls. But its many programs must become a single, coordinated strategy.

"We're making it clear to any country ... that they need to get serious about increasing the number of girls in school," Obama said. He announced the "Let Girls Learn" initiative. He was at the White House with the first lady standing beside him.

Mrs. Obama said the issue is personal for her.

"I see myself in these girls. I see our daughters in these girls."

The Obamas are parents of two teenagers. Malia is 16 and Sasha is 13. The Obamas say their own successes would have been impossible without education. During their travels, they encourage young people to focus on education. In the U.S., Mrs. Obama urges students to pursue education after high school.

As part of the effort, Mrs. Obama said her office and the Peace Corps will work jointly. They want to highlight community-based solutions.

The Peace Corps already has thousands of volunteers at work. They are stationed in more than 60 developing countries. Its "Let Girls Learn" program will begin in many countries. Those countries include Albania, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Georgia, Ghana, Moldova, Mongolia, Mozambique, Togo and Uganda.

Mrs. Obama will travel to Tokyo and Kyoto, Japan, from March 18-20. Then she will go to Siem Reap in northwestern Cambodia from March 21-22.

The first lady said she will visit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's wife, Akie. The Japanese first lady "shares our passion for girls' education and is eager to partner with us in this work."

In Cambodia, Mrs. Obama said she will meet with Peace Corps volunteers. She will visit a school where "community-driven solutions are changing girls' lives."

Cambodia is an interesting choice for the first lady.

In late 2012, Barack Obama became the first U.S. president to visit Cambodia. Cambodia has been led since 1985 by Prime Minister Hun Sen. He has a reputation for ruthlessness. There is low tolerance for opposition.

Mrs. Obama said the new initiative is as much about students in the U.S. as it is about educating girls abroad. She said she wants to help youngsters in America learn about the sacrifices girls around the world make to get their education.

"I want our young people to be awed by these girls. But more importantly I want them to be inspired and motivated by these girls," Mrs. Obama said.

Critical thinking challenge: Why do the President and First Lady think it is important to focus on this issue?

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COMMENTS (15)
  • BuchananT-Sua
    3/17/2015 - 05:00 p.m.

    Why I think Mr.Obama and the First Lady want to make this issue a major work on is because Boys and girls are just the same. We may like different things we like but that doesn't mean girls are worst then boys. I think that Girls and boys should have the same rights.

  • KerrF-Sua
    3/17/2015 - 05:01 p.m.

    The question is that the President and First Lady want girls to learn. A reason is that everyone deserves a chance to be smart. Another is that if girls learn there will be more smart people and more cool things to build and make. One more is that countries don't let girls learn just because their girls witch I think is wrong. Those are the reasons why President Obama and the First Lady want girls to learn.

  • DorrN-Sua
    3/17/2015 - 05:02 p.m.

    I think that what this person wrote was awesome. My first answer was: When will Mrs. Obama begin her visit to Cambodia?

    March 21
    My second answer was:

    "He has a reputation for ruthlessness."
    Which word could BEST substitute for "ruthlessness" without changing the meaning of the sentence? greed
    My final answer was: Which excerpt explains Mrs. Obama's goals for students in the United States?
    The Obamas are parents of two teenagers. Malia is 16 and Sasha is 13. The Obamas say their own successes would have been impossible without education. During their travels, they encourage young people to focus on education. In the U.S., Mrs. Obama urges students to pursue education after high school.

  • MangayayamB-Sua
    3/17/2015 - 05:02 p.m.

    II think the president and the first lady think it is important to focus on the issue about girls not letting girls learn because they have two daughters that went to school and it said it would not be successful without education. Also they want to help other girls that are not eligible to go to school go to school. I think this is important because when some girls are older they will not know a lot on education. Also I think this is important because all girls should have equal rights. I think the summery was mostly about how girls do not have equal rights.

  • CooperT-Sua
    3/17/2015 - 05:04 p.m.

    Why the President and First Lady think it is important to focus on this issue because that the effort will focus on girls going and staying in school. Also girls can't learn if they don't go to school. Another thing is the president says that girls need to be strong and capable.

  • SutherlandJ-Sua
    3/17/2015 - 05:04 p.m.

    I think they should sitll fousec on it becasuse girls are cool

  • GuisihanJ-Sua
    3/17/2015 - 05:04 p.m.

    I think its important to think about this issue. One reason I think its important is because girls don't really get noticed that much. Another reason is It helps girls be a strong and capable woman. Another reason is it helps girls attend and stay in school. That is my reason's and answer for this issue and I would like you to keep up the good work.

  • NicholsE-Sua
    3/17/2015 - 05:05 p.m.

    Why do the President and First Lady think it is important to focus on this issue?
    The president think that its important because girls can be a value and it not fair so there try to save it and they want the tell girls how to learn and move to different countries to tell the girls how to learn

  • MooreI-Sua
    3/17/2015 - 05:08 p.m.

    This important because everyone needs to be smart. This is also needs to happen because they can get a job and be good. One more reason is that girls can be what they want to be. These are the reasons why first lady issue needs to be solved.

  • StoneM-Sua
    3/17/2015 - 05:13 p.m.

    The reason why the President and the First Lady are talking about this topic is because girls are downing out of school. The things President and the First Lady will do to fix this problem is they will travel to cities and counties to tell people. The next way they will fix this problem is they will make is make a support group to help girl learn. The last reason how they can fix it is they will tell friends in other places to make girls smarted. That is my three reason how the President and the First Lady help girls be smarted.

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