Michelle Obama Tells Kids the Arts Are ‘As Essential As What They Eat’

The arts give children “a reason to get out of bed” and are “as essential as what they eat,” First Lady Michelle Obama declared Thursday at the National Student Poetry Reading.

The First Lady, whose efforts to control what kids eat through her “Let’s Move!” program have become infamous, said access to arts is just as vital as access to good nutrition:

“So today, we celebrate not just the wonderful, finished poems that you will hear in a moment from these gifted young people, but we’re also here to celebrate the journey that these young people took to get where they are today — the endless drafts, the late-night struggles with writer’s block, and all those moments, I’m sure, of fear and doubt.