In a photo of the encounter, President Biden is kneeling on the ground as the boy walks toward him wearing a Navy hat and holding an American flag

By Katie Campione
May 04, 2021 12:05 AM
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Credit: Evan Vucci/AP/Shutterstock

President Joe Biden made a bit of a detour during his trip to Virginia.

While traveling with his motorcade Monday morning in Yorktown, Virginia, the Bidens paused outside of York High School to greet a small group of students and staff — including a group of Navy ROTC.

He also shared a sweet moment with a young boy during the stop. In a photo of the encounter, President Biden kneeled down to get on the boy's level as the child walked toward him wearing a Navy hat and holding an American flag.

The child proudly waved his flag at the president as a woman recorded the special moment.

Biden was traveling through coastal Virginia on Monday to promote his plans to increase education spending, according to the Associated Press.

He stopped at Tidewater Community College with First Lady Jill Biden and was on his way back to the airport for a helicopter tour of the Chesapeake when he stopped his motorcade to interact with supporters.

During his stop at the community college, Biden discussed his proposal to provide Americans with two years of tuition-free community college and put more funding toward Pell Grants and other means of targeting underserved students, AP reports.

"When America made 12 years of public education universal in America in the early 1900s, it made us the best educated nation in the world," Biden said, according to AP. "The rest of the world has caught up to us. They're not waiting. And 12 years is no longer enough to compete with the world in the 21st century and lead the 21st century."

The first lady is an English professor at Northern Virginia Community College. On Wednesday evening, during the president's joint address to Congress, she received a standing ovation as she wore an upcycled version of her inauguration dress, complete with a message of unity, entered the chamber ahead of her husband's speech.

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Later in the night, President Biden, 78, touted his wife's role in the education proposals in his $1.8 trillion new American Families Plan, which he said includes "four additional years of public education for every person in America" and "two years of universal high-quality pre-school for every 3- and 4-year-old in America." (The legislation needs Republican support and faces an uncertain future in Congress.)

"Jill is a community college professor who teaches today as first lady," the president said in his address. "She has long said any country that out-educates us is going to outcompete us — and she'll be leading this effort."

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Dr. Biden, a longtime educator, is the first first lady to maintain a job while carrying out her unpaid East Wing duties.

During a community college tour in Dixon, Illinois, earlier this month, Dr. Biden, 69, spoke to reporters about her dual roles, saying: "Most people now call me first lady. But to one group of Northern Virginia Community College [students], I am first, foremost and forever their writing professor: Dr. B."