VA First Lady hosts brunch; promotes education

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – After a weekend of pomp and circumstance, First Lady of Virginia Pam Northam is sharing her vision for the Commonwealth over the next four years.

“Think carefully about your future,” she says.

Northam is getting down to business as she begins her term serving the residents of Virginia. Her husband, Governor Ralph Northam was inaugurated as the 73rd governor on Saturday,

“Not all children in Virginia benefit from early childhood care and education,” Northam says.  “And not all programs and teachers have the resources or the training to achieve that quality. So for the next four years I look forward to making a difference in the lives of children.”

Northam says in 2016, 40 percent of Virginia children entering kindergarten were not prepared, a statistic she wants to change.

Another goal: provide additional STEM education to girls.

“Engaged in science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” Northam says. “Half our population is vastly underrepresented in this critical field. With the significant challenges we face today, like sea level rise and climate change. We cannot succeed if half of us are held back.”

Northam plans to work with schools to make sure students have enough to eat before heading to class.

“To ensure that the brain of every child is being fed too,” Northam says.  “No matter who they are. No matter where they’re from. For healthy bodies and healthy minds..they must have access to quality healthcare.”

As she begins her term as first lady she poses a question to the Commonwealth.

“I think of one of my favorite poets, Mary Oliver who asks, what will you do with your one wild and precious life?,” said Northam.

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