January 17th, 2011
04:47 PM ET
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama and the first family continued their tradition of public service for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day by visiting a DC mentoring program
The president and first lady stopped by Stuart Hobson Middle School in Washington and greeted students and mentors who were part of the Greater DC Cares’ Mentoring Matters Initiative. The program hosted events in more than 30 schools in the DC area and focuses their efforts on keeping kids in school and striving for higher education.
Mr. and Mrs. Obama also helped to paint some cartoon characters on the walls in the cafeteria during their visit. The dancing-apples are meant to encourage healthy eating, one of Mrs. Obama’s main focuses as first lady. Malia and Sasha lent their hands to painting as well, helping with painting college logos on canvases to hang on the walls.
“Dr. King obviously had a dream of justice and equality in our society, but he also had a dream of service, that you could be a drum major for service, that you could lead by giving back to our communities,” the president said. “After a painful week where so many of us were focused on tragedy, it’s good for us to remind ourselves what this country is all about.”
The Obamas have participated in service projects for the last three years on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Last year, they visited a DC soup kitchen and worked a food line, serving lunch to the homeless.