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Melania to Reveal Agenda Goals on Children's Issues

Melania to Reveal Agenda Goals on Children's Issues

She's focused on being a wife, and she's focused on her role as first lady.

First lady Melania Trump, in a high-profile address from the Rose Garden on Monday, announced the "Be Best" awareness initiative, the aim of which she said was to address some of the major issues facing children today.

While Trump has since September of previous year said she plans to focus her efforts on the well-being of children, she had yet to define what exactly that means, instead delving into a broad range of topics under a wide umbrella of issues.

"They spend very little to no time together", said one longtime friend of the president.

She said the first lady will devote the rest of the Trump presidency to issues facing children.

"I am well aware that people are skeptical of me discussing this topic", she said, per CNN. She's also brought that message directly to classrooms around the country.

In a lengthy profile on the first lady published Monday, the Post noted "a persistent rumor [floating] around Washington that Melania doesn't really live in the White House and stays in a house with her parents and Barron near his suburban Washington school". Last month, she joined her husband to host the prime minister of Japan at the Trumps' Florida estate and the president of France at the White House. She attended the funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush solo and deftly handled the state dinner for French President Emmanuel Macron. Trump denies her accusation. Her initiative comes after previously expressing her interest in children through numerous visits to hospitals and schools over the course of the Trump presidency. According to CNN it has something to do with the well-being of children, but she's yet to explain exactly what that means.

"They are our future", she said, adding: "I want to nurture and protect the most valuable part of our society - children".

But that's changed, and Melania Trump is definitely asserting her position as first lady. "Melania's dealing with a White House that is not exactly good at delivering a consistent message", said Peter Slevin of Northwestern University to NPR, also the author of Michelle Obama: A Life. She has a smaller staff than her predecessors and only hired her policy director in January of this year. Myra Gutin, a historian of American first ladies at Rider University, told NPR that actually, what Melania has to deal with might actually work to her advantage.

Melania is often M.I.A. when the president flees the White House for one of their other residences.

"Be Best" focuses on the well-being of children.

In February, she called on adults to promote the values of "encouragement, kindness, compassion and respect" online. A study by the Clinical Psychological Science shows that after 2010, children who spent more time on new media were more likely to report mental health issues than those who spent time on non-screen activities.

In it, officials highlight the basic ways people are using the Internet, as well as the risks involved, such as being exposed to cyber-bullies. Trump said the "Be Best" campaign will help to support families and children affected by the opioid epidemic, reduce the stigma of drug addiction across the country and bring awareness to programs and places now serving the issue like Lily's Place and the Cincinnati Children's hospital.

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