First lady Jill Biden on Wednesday visited a New Hampshire elementary school that was named after a woman who was chosen to be America’s “Teacher in Space."
The trip was part of the "Help is Here" tour to amplify the American Rescue Plan, which provides $130 billion to help schools achieve President Joe Biden’s goal to open the majority of K-8 schools within his first 100 days in office.
"There can be no recovery without a place for working parents to send their children," Biden said, after touting the COVID stimulus payments that many Americans received Wednesday.
Biden spoke at the Christa McAuliffe School in Concord, which she toured with McAuliffe's family, including her widower, a longtime friend of Biden's.
Christa McAuliffe, who grew up in Framingham, Massachusetts, was a 1970 Framingham State graduate who went on to be a teacher and then a history-making astronaut before tragedy struck in 1986.
Biden is herself a teacher, and is serving as a professor of writing at Northern Virginia Community College.
"My fellow educators and I were so proud of what she was doing. And she taught us to dream big and to never stop learning," Biden said, after accepting the first of the newly minted silver dollars that honor McAuliffe.
The first lady referred to McAuliffe's phrase, "I touch the future. I teach," which is inscribed on the coin, in thanking all the educators who are struggling to help their students through the pandemic.
"Schools across the country are without help, so today, I'm here to tell you, with the American Rescue Plan, help is here," Biden said.
She also touched on the shooting that left eight people dead in Georgia on Tuesday.
"My heart is with you," Biden said to the victims' families, adding she hoped that all Americans would join her in praying for the victims in "this senseless tragedy."
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu had been scheduled to greet the first lady when she arrived at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.