As with former first ladies, Melania Trump is no exception when it comes to announcing her personal agenda within the White House. In the last 50 years, initiatives have been varied. For Lady Bird Johnson, it was sponsorship of the Highway Beautification Act. Roslyn Carter established a council focused on mental health. Nancy Reagan’s agenda was “Just Say No” to drugs. Laura Bush promoted literacy and education, and Michelle Obama tackled childhood obesity.
Now, Melania Trump has announced that her cause is to improve children’s well-being via a campaign she has dubbed “Be Best.”
“Be Best is an awareness campaign dedicated to the most valuable and fragile among us: our children,” Mrs. Trump said in a speech in the White House Rose Garden on Monday.
Mrs. Trump explained that the campaign had one goal: to educate children about the issues they are facing today so that adults can give them the support and tools needed for them to grow into “happy productive adults.”
She explained further that “Be Best” would address three areas of concern: children’s well-being, their use of social media, and the consequences of the nationwide opioid addiction epidemic.
Regarding social media, the first lady stressed that it was “too often used in negative ways,” and added that as long as kids learned positive behavior from a young age, social media could be used “in productive ways.”
Mrs. Trump went on to advise that adults have the responsibility to “educate and remind [children] when they use their voices to choose their words wisely and speak with respect and kindness.”
The president was quoted as saying his wife’s speech was “beautiful and heartfelt” before signing a proclamation that declared May 7 as “Be Best Day.” He said, “America is truly blessed to have a first lady who is so devoted to our country.”
Children’s well-being is clearly a platform close to the first lady’s heart. She is a devoted mother to her and her husband’s 11-year-old son Barron, the couple’s only child, and delayed moving to Washington so that he could complete his school year in New York.
Mrs. Trump recently demonstrated the importance of communicating with children at a student listening session at the White House on April 9. At the event, a young boy accidentally knocked over a bottle of water and gasped in horror as it spilled all over the rug. Mrs. Trump immediately smiled at him and comforted him, saying, “No problem. Don’t worry. It’s just water, okay? No worry at all. It happens.”
The “Be Best” campaign is the fulfillment of Mrs. Trump’s election campaign intentions to fight cyberbullying. She has been quoted as saying that she knows some will be “skeptical” or “critical” of her efforts, but that nothing would stop her from doing what “I know is right,” and added that she was armed with a single goal: to help children and the country’s next generation.