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First Lady Jill Biden visits Whiteman Air Force Base Wednesday

First Lady Jill Biden (center) and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona visit a classroom at Whiteman Elementary School on Wednesday, April 13, 2022.
KMIZ
First Lady Jill Biden (center) and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona visit a classroom at Whiteman Elementary School on Wednesday, April 13, 2022.

Watch Biden and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona speak at Knob Noster High School in the player above.

KNOB NOSTER, Mo. (KMIZ)

On Wednesday, First Lady Jill Biden and U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona visited Whiteman Air Force Base in Knob Noster.

The two highlighted the Month of the Military Child Program and other programs that support military-connected students, as part of the White House's Joining Forces initiative.

On their visit, Biden and Cardona visited Whiteman Elementary School, and took a visit Knob Noster High School's "Purple Up Pep Assembly."

The roundtable discussion at Whiteman Elementary School had students up to 12th grade share their personal experiences, the struggles they see with socialization, and the transition from moving several times a year to a new school.

One of the programs mentioned Wednesday was "Student 2 Student," which helps bring military and civilian students to work together to welcome new students, create a positive environment, support academic excellence and ease transitions.

Several students at the roundtable talked about how beneficial that program was for them.

First Lady Biden told students at Knob Noster High School that "life doesn't just stop because someone you love is halfway around the world, or because your parent gets the call to move to a new town. You just find ways to make it work but I know it's hard sometimes."

Biden shared stories about her family's experience with Beau Biden being deployed to Iraq, telling the students she knows firsthand how it can be hard.

Biden also spoke directly to parents in the pep assembly saying "Parents, I know you're wondering if you made the right choice for your child during your years of military service. I hope you see the path you've chosen has made these students the incredible people they've become. People who are ready for whatever this world has in store for them."

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona told students at Knob Noster High School that he admired the work students are doing to make sure other students have the support they need to grow and continue to thrive while being a military child.

"It's hard enough being a kid these days, and trying to find your way into a new community," Cardona said. "Just because our military children learn and grow up to 'roll with the punches doesn't mean they don't need a supportive environment."

Cardona went on to say he was "so inspired by the work you (students) are doing here at Knob Noster."

According to the White House, there are more than two million children in classrooms in the United States whose parents are active-duty military service members, National Guard, reservists, or military veterans. 

The White House's Joining Forces initiative works to support military families through employment, education, and health. More information can be found here.

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Deborah Kendrick

Deborah is a weekday evening anchor and investigative reporter for ABC 17 News.

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