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Harry Potter, Math Whiz, and Pencils: 3 Things You Didn’t Know About a Young President Obama

Here are three things the President shared about the power of reading and his life growing up that you may not know.

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"The most powerful engine for learning is between your ears." – President Obama 

President Obama dropped in to the Anacostia Neighborhood Public Library today in Washington, D.C. to join a “virtual field trip” with students across the country to talk about the power of reading and the importance of preparing for a higher education. 

Every child deserves the chance to learn and thrive in an environment that is enriched with the latest technology that will connect our future leaders to the information they need to succeed. Today, the President announced two new efforts to expand those opportunities: new #BooksForAll commitments, and the ConnectED Library Challenge. Major publishers are joining together to provide unlimited access to thousands of children’s and young adult e-books, and public libraries across the country are stepping up to help give every child enrolled in school a library card. 

Read more about these new initiatives here

While at the library, the President participated in a conversation with kids – in-person and broadcast virtually to classrooms around the world through a Discovery Education webinar – about the power of reading. He shared a few new details of what he was like as a young student, a young parent, as an author and a voracious reader.  

Here are three things the President shared about his life growing up that you may not know: 

President Obama began reading the Harry Potter series out loud to Malia when she was 5 years old. 

A few of his favorite books when he was growing up? Books by Dr. Seuss, The Hardy Boys, Treasure Island, The Lord of the Rings, and The Hobbit

President Obama’s best school subjects growing up were actually math and science. 

But when he got to high school, he delved a little deeper into social studies and how government works.

The technology President Obama had access to when he was a young student? Pencils. 

… and pens, colored markers, rulers, even staplers. High-tech stuff. 

What about you? What book or teacher helped shape who you are and what you want to become? Share your story here and help build a conversation large enough to reach every American who dreams of reaching higher.