Chester children visit the White House – News from Chester Eastside, Inc.

Trip of  lifetime: Chester children and their adult guides checking out the White House. Second row center are Professor Mark Wallace of Swarthmore College and Kathryn Redd, Director of the After-School Program at CEI, one of the trip’s sponsors


Thirty-five Chester children, including many from Chester Eastside, Inc.’s, After- School Program, and their adult chaperones, took a trip on April 2 that they will never forget. They got to see the inside of the place President Obama calls home.

No, they didn’t shake hands with the President, who was busy dealing with things like foreign policy and global warming. But they did get to see the elaborate security apparatus that constantly surrounds him and the rest of the First Family. Needless to say, they were impressed with what’s gotten to be a daily routine for the Obama children.

In a way this was a payback visit. During his 2008 campaign the President visited Chester.  Of course the young Chesterites who were even around then would have been too young to remember.

In the words of Kathryn Redd, director of the After-School Program at Chester Eastside, Inc., one of the sponsoring organizations,”This was a wonderful history lesson for these children, one they will never forget. As the first black President of the United States, President Obama is someone they can emulate.”

Swarthmore College and the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility helped to arrange the Washington trip, which was sponsored by Chester Eastside, Inc., and other faith-based organizations.

The White House was not the only stop in the nation’s capital. The young people also visited the Smithsonian National Zoological Park. They seemed particularly impressed by the giant pandas. But what will stay with them for the rest of their lives was that brush with history at the site where major decisions are made every day.

By timmreardon