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ABC's Nightline airs interview with BRES first graders

Adam Orr/AMT
Excited, and more than a little nervous, first graders from Blue Ridge Elementary Chase Miller,
Carrigan Kearley, Katelyn French, and Alicia Deardorff being interviewed by ABC's Janice
McDonald on Dec. 13.

Originally published: Dec. 23, 2012
Last modified: Dec. 28, 2012

Adam Orr

Ashe County Schools Public Information Officer Joallen Lowder confirmed Sunday afternoon that ABC will air an interview with Blue Ridge Elementary first graders on Dec. 26 at 11:30 p.m. 

"They have devoted the entire 30 minutes for the story," said Blue Ridge Elementary First Grade Teacher Amanda Estes. "A woman from ABC News said it is really cute, and we'll love it." 

The interview, filmed early on the morning of Dec. 13, was originally scheduled to air Dec. 14 according to ABC's Nightline reporter Janice McDonald, but was later rescheduled in light of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings.

The three-member Nightline team interviewed four excited, nervous BRES first graders in Warrensville as they asked President Barack Obama and family questions about Christmas. 

Under the glare of multiple lights, cameras and a boom microphone, first graders Chase Miller, Carrigan Kearley, Katelyn French, and Alicia Deardorff asked the President why the carpet in the Oval Office is blue, what he does for his job, and how the First Family celebrates Christmas in the White House, among other questions. 

The idea for the light-hearted interview came during the delivery ceremony for the White House Christmas tree, when Estes helped her husband Beau, and father-in-law Rusty deliver the official Blue Room Christmas tree to the White House on Nov. 23. 

Each fall, BRES first graders attach tags to area Christmas trees as part of a mapping project. The tags ask the tree's new owners to respond and include the name of the town that becomes each tree's final destination. 

This year, students attached tags to trees at Peak Farms during a visit on Nov. 8, as the farm was preparing its Trees for Troops donation. 

"A reporter happened to see a tag on the White House tree, and that's what sparked the interest," said Lowder. "From there, the entire interview idea came together really fast." 

Estes said her students use the tags to write special messages and decorate before being attached to trees and sent to troops and their families for the Christmas season. 

"It's always a lot of fun and the kids enjoy it," said Estes on Nov. 17. "This year, we included the White House Christmas tree and we're hoping to get a response from the President." 

With any luck, her students will learn the President's answers Wednesday night. 

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