First lady Michelle Obama and Kerry Washington were having a James Brown-inspired “Gonna Have a Funky Good Time” at Savoy Elementary School in Washington, D.C. when they joined the preschoolers for an afternoon art class, a musical statues game and a song-and-dance performance to “Who Put the Bop” by The Platters.
Savoy Elementary School was adopted by Washington as part of the Turnaround Arts Initiative of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, which will give grants to low-income schools.
Actors Forest Whitaker and Sarah Jessica Parker also adopted schools last month as part of the initiative.
The first lady was singing the “Scandal” star praises when she addressed the students: “Kerry is a big-time star right now. Big time. I mean, there is no bigger star right now than Kerry. She’s not just a beautiful, fashionable, talented woman, but she’s real inside, and there is beauty deep inside. The fact that she is flying all over the country, but she comes to spend time with you guys and she does it for real … it shows more of her love for all of you. So, Kerry, love you, girl. Keep it going. Very proud of you.”
The Turnaround Arts Initiative is designed to narrow the achievement gap and increase student engagement through the arts. Turnaround Arts works in eight “turnaround schools” throughout the country.
Batiste Cultural Arts Academy at Live Oak School, New Orleans, LA
Findley Elementary School, Des Moines, IA
Lame Deer Jr. High School, Lame Deer, MT
Martin Luther King, Jr. School, Portland, OR
Noel Community Arts School, Denver, CO
Orchard Gardens School, Boston, MA
Roosevelt School, Bridgeport, CT
Savoy Elementary School, Washington, D.C.