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First Lady Congratulates Irvington Student On Public Service Announcement

After creating public service announcements in their English class last year, six Irvington Middle School eighth-graders received letters commending them for their efforts. One student received a letter from first lady Michelle Obama.
After creating public service announcements in their English class last year, six Irvington Middle School eighth-graders received letters commending them for their efforts. One student received a letter from first lady Michelle Obama. Photo Credit: Contributed
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d Photo Credit: Contributed
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f Photo Credit: Contributed

IRVINGTON, N.Y. -- Six Irvington Middle School eighth-graders received letters commending them for their work after creating public service announcements in their English class last year, including a letter from first lady Michelle Obama.

The assignment was part of the Jacob Burns “Reel Change” unit, according to the Irvington Union Free School District.

Xavier James received a letter from first lady Michelle Obama congratulating him for his work on a PSA that highlighted the importance of making good choices. James said he wrote a business letter to the first lady to highlight the PSA’s message.

“I mailed a letter to Michelle Obama about the importance of making the right choices about drugs and how they affect [one’s] life,” James said. “She took the time to read my letter and responded to me with a letter of her own.”

In her letter, Obama thanked James for writing to her, adding that it brought her joy to hear the views and ideas of thoughtful young Americans.

“I was especially happy to hear from you,” Obama wrote. “You have an exciting life ahead of you, and if you keep working hard, you can change the course of your own life, as well as the course of history. Thank you again for your letter. Keep up the good work!”

Five other students who worked on separate PSA projects also received letters from the various organizations and corporations to which they wrote. Ryan Flannigan and Zach Rosman received letters from TED-Ed, Fiona Goldman got a response from Nike, and Brant Steinberg and Lexi Weintraub received letters from GLSEN.

The PSA project, which was conducted in collaboration with the Jacob Burns Center, was led by Irvington Middle School teachers Kelly Kozak, Caroline Lehoczky, Allicia Rios and Thomas Sandler.

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