Kolter ES student gets (digital) face-time with former first lady

Kolter ES fifth-graders participate in the “Reading Discovery with First Lady Barbara Bush” teleconference on Jan. 14. At far right (wearing headphones) is Matthew Kalmans, who got to ask Mrs. Bush a question.

It’s not often that fifth-graders have a chance to ask questions of a former first lady, but that’s exactly what Kolter Elementary School’s Matthew Kalmans got to do recently, when the George Bush Presidential Library held a teleconference with Barbara Bush to promote literacy.

Only 18 schools from across the nation were chosen to participate in the “Reading Discovery with First Lady Barbara Bush” event on Jan. 14, and Kolter was one of them.

As a part of the teleconference, one student from each participating school was designated to ask Mrs. Bush a question, and Matthew’s was, “You have met many influential people in your lifetime. Who would you consider to be the most influential?”

And, perhaps because her association with him led not only to the birth of her children, but also to the distinction of being both the wife and mother of a U.S. president, Bush (understandably) answered, “My husband, George Herbert Walker Bush.”

Matthew said he “felt great and really proud” that he got to speak to the former first lady, and Kolter Principal Steven Shetzer said that the entire class was very excited to be acknowledged by Mrs. Bush and to participate in the experience. Kolter ES is the first HISD school ever to do so.

To learn more about how HISD is incorporating technology into its instruction, visit the PowerUp website.