By Alex Pappas, ,
Published May 07, 2018
First lady Melania Trump on Monday unveiled her new platform of initiatives to help kids, saying her “Be Best” campaign will focus on addressing the well-being of children, social media use and opioid abuse.
“We can and should be best at educating our children about the importance of a healthy and balanced life,” she said during a speech in the Rose Garden, which was attended by President Trump.
The first lady said social media can both “positively and negatively” affect children.
“Too often it's used in negative ways,” she said. “When children learn positive online behaviors early on, social media can be used in productive ways and can affect positive change.”
Trump has promised to tackle cyberbullying as first lady, hosting major online and social media companies at the White House earlier this year. She’s also brought that message directly to classrooms around the country.
The first lady will “highlight the importance of using social media and the internet in positive ways,” her office said, pointing to a study that claims children who spend more time on new media are more likely to report mental health issues than those who spend time on other activities.
She said she will speak to leaders in the technology industry about children's online habits and raise awareness “around the importance of positive behaviors.”
According to the first lady’s office, the "well-being" pillar of the campaign will promote “healthy living, encouragement, kindness, and respect.”
“With those values as a solid foundation, children will be able to better deal with the evils of the opioid crisis and avoid negative social media interaction,” a fact sheet for the campaign stated.
The first lady said she plans to address the opioid crisis by bringing attention to “neonatal abstinence syndrome, and help educate parents on the importance of healthy pregnancies.”
“Together let's encourage children to dream big, think big and do all they can to be best in everything that they do,” the first lady said.
The president signed a “Be Best" proclamation after his wife’s speech, and praised her for her "compassion."
“Everywhere she's gone, Americans have been touched by her sincerity, moved by her grace and lifted by her love,” the president said. “Melania, your care and compassion for our nation's children -- and I have to say this and I say it to you all the time -- inspires us all.”
Fox News’ Kaitlyn Schallhorn contributed to this report.