Full Text of Obama's Speech to Schoolchildren

The White House released the text of the president's speech to the nation's schoolchildren yesterday. As promised, the speech urges children to work hard and stay in school. Obama exhorts children to take responsibility for their own education, telling them it is OK to ask for help when it's needed. "We can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world─and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities," he will say, according to the prepared remarks. Obama uses his own childhood as an example, saying that he's not proud of the times he acted out but that he seized on the second chances he was offered. The full text of the speech, as released by the White House, is below.

Prepared Remarks of President Barack Obama
Back to School Event

Arlington, Virginia
September 8, 2009

Hello everyone─how’s everybody doing today? I’m here with students at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia. And we’ve got students tuning in from all across America, kindergarten through twelfth grade. I’m glad you all could join us today.