By Ed Adamczyk and Daniel Uria – UPI
First lady Melania Trump announced her agenda of personal initiatives Monday afternoon, which are centered on the well-being of American children.
Speaking in the White House Rose Garden at 3 p.m., Trump launched the initiative known as “Be Best,” which will center around three pillars including well-being, social media use and opioid abuse.
“As a mother and as first lady, it concerns me that in today’s fast-paced and ever-connected world, children can be less prepared to express or manage their emotions and often times turn to forms of destructive or addictive behavior such as bullying, drug addiction or even suicide,” Trump said. “I feel strongly that as adults, we can and should ‘be best’ at educating our children about the importance of a healthy and balanced life.”
Trump said the goal of her public awareness campaign is to encourage parents and all adults to impart on children to be kind, refrain from bullying on social media and elsewhere as well as stay away from drugs.
“If we truly listen to what our kids have to say, whether it be their concerns or ideas, adults can provide them the support and tools they need to grow up to be happy and productive adults who contribute positively to society and their global communities,” she said.
As first lady, Melania Trump has spoken about bullying and other issues affecting children since her husband, President Donald Trump, assumed office over a year ago. They have a son, 12-year-old Barron, and Melania Trump has expressed an interest in helping children through numerous school and hospital visits.
The first lady said she will continue to speak with leaders in the technology industry about children’s social media habits, work with those fighting drug addiction and to travel and speak to children.
“In my time as first lady of the United States I will make every effort to ‘be best’ at championing the many successful well-being programs in existence today and teach the tools for emotional, social and physical well-being,” she said.
U.S. first ladies traditionally choose and focus on a single social issue of national interest. Former first lady Michelle Obama made efforts toward improving child education, poverty and nutrition.
President Donald Trump signed a proclamation declaring Monday “Be Best” day in honor of the first lady’s new platform.
“Everywhere she has gone, Americans have been touched by her sincerity, moved by her grace and lifted by her love,” he said. “Melania, your care and compassion for our nation’s children, and I have to say this, and I say to all the time, inspires us all.”