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Milton students take off to meet first lady - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Milton students take off to meet first lady

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MILTON, Vt. -

As the Milton bunch rolls through school to begin of their journey to Washington, D.C., the excitement in the air is building.

"Just really excited, but nervous," fifth-grader Will Muzzy said.

"I think I'm gonna be really excited to meet Michelle Obama," fifth-grader Sarah Schmoll said.

As their takeoff time approaches, it's nervous hugs goodbye to mom and dad. Though each student will be accompanied by one parent, for some it's their first time away from home.

"I am overwhelmed. It's an amazing opportunity for all of them. I'm excited. This is her first plane trip, so it'll be amazing and we're really just thankful for the opportunity," mom Melissa Svenson said.

The kids are one of four groups nationwide embarking on a journey to help the first lady plant in the White House Garden. The two-day trip is thanks to food service director Steve Marinelli's efforts to revamp the school lunch, which caught the eye of Mrs.Obama's Let's Move Campaign.

"So we started getting rid of the freezer-to-oven products and started bringing in local and fresh product, just started building a new program," Marinelli said.

Though most of the kids are thrilled to meet the first lady herself...

"I think she does a lot because she has kids of her own, so I think she knows all about trying to eat healthy foods and so you have energy to go out and play a lot," fifth-grader Hannah Svenson said.

...At least one 10-year-old boy has different expectations.

"I want to see the Secret Service. They look so cool with their shades on and everything," fifth-grader Nolan Deep said.

And no visit by Vermonters would be complete without a special gift; farmers met the group at the airport to give the first lady an all-natural Vermont product-- fresh tenderloin and hamburger. And now it's wheels up-- onward to Washington for a very special honor.

Four employees are also going. The trip is about $15,000 or about $1,000 per person over the two-day period. That was funded entirely by community donations.

And WCAX News is also sending a crew. Bridget Barry Caswell and photographer Joe Carroll are headed to the White House. Thursday night we will have reports on the kids planting there and a one-on-one interview with the first lady.

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