Four first-graders at Blue Ridge Elementary School gave an interview to an ABC news crew Thursday in which the children addressed questions to President Barak Obama and the first family concerning Christmas celebration protocols at the White House.
Meeting in the school’s office with ABC Nightline’s Janice McDonald, students Chase Miller, Carrigan Kearly, Alicia Deardorff and Katelyn French each took the opportunity to speak directly to the Obamas as cameras rolled.
Chase Miller, 7, opened the questioning, asking “Why is the carpet in the Oval Office blue?”
Carrigan Kearley, also 7, wanted the inside story on “how does the first family celebrate Christmas in the White House?”
Alicia Deardorff, 6, then asked “what does the inside of the White House look like?”
Katelyn French, 7, saved the hard-hitting question for last, asking the president “what do you do for your job?”
The interview was formatted for each student to ask one question. But the children had several more during a Q-and-A session with McDonald which followed.
“I wonder if Santa Claus comes to the White House?” Deardorff asked.
Miller wanted to know if the first family gave each other Christmas presents.
French then asked “I wonder what they want for Christmas?”
According to Joallen Lowder, public information officer for Ashe County Schools, the idea for the interview came when BRES teacher Amanda Estes traveled with her family to Washington, D.C., to deliver their tree to the White House Blue room. The 18 foot fraser fir was grown at the Estes’s family’s Peak Farms in Jefferson.
Students at BRES had decorated and attached tags to Christmas trees from Ashe County as part of a first-grade mapping project. Families who receive the trees send back the tags, telling where the trees end up, and the children plot them on an interactive map.
A White House reporter noticed the tags. “It became a human interest story once Amanda told her about the tags,” said Lowder, and the Nightline story resulted.
Update: The broadcast, which was postponed due to the school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, will air tonight at 11:30 on ABC, and has been extended to a fill a full 30 minutes.