First lady Jill Biden, Education Sec'y Miguel Cardona tour Meriden elementary school

First lady Dr. Jill Biden and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona traveled to his hometown of Meriden, Connecticut, Wednesday to tour an elementary school.

News 12 Staff

Mar 4, 2021, 1:28 AM

Updated 1,178 days ago

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First lady Dr. Jill Biden and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona traveled to his hometown of Meriden, Connecticut, Wednesday to tour an elementary school.
Dr. Biden, one of the most powerful women in America, stopped by Rachel Valentin's kindergarten class at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School and gave the students a humble hello.
"I think I was more nervous because kindergarten is kindergarten. You know, you're just not sure what's going to happen from day to day," Valentin says.
A huge crowd gathered around the school not just for Dr. Biden, but for Cardona.
"We're so proud of you, Miguel! And good work," shouted Maria Velez, of Meriden.
After the tour, Cardona said reopening the nation's schools for in-person learning is his top priority.
"Across the country, future Lin Manuel Mirandas' are sitting at home, instead of going to the drama club," he says.
"Like Miguel said, teachers want to be back. We want to be back," says Dr. Biden.
In other states, many teachers are pushing back. In Connecticut, some teachers initially protested.
But at Benjamin Franklin, 70% of the kids are already in class and another 15 are coming back this month. Across the city, 200 students are returning.
"We have teams that you didn't even see getting ready. Our custodial staff, our clerical staff," says principal Joanne Conte.
As the first lady toured her class, Valentin wanted her to come away knowing one thing.
"Teachers are - they want to be in the classroom. And we can do this," she says.
Vaccines are a big part of that effort. Teachers in Connecticut started getting the shot this week.
In Meriden, 200 of them start getting vaccinated Thursday.


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