WASHINGTON (AP) – First lady Michelle Obama told third-graders Wednesday that they can help the president by working hard and never quitting.

Mrs. Obama visited Ferebee-Hope Elementary School in southeast Washington and read the story “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” to about 18 children.

Afterward she and the eight- to 10-year-old children discussed how to cope productively with having a bad day.

“So sometimes if you spend all your time being frustrated about your bad day, sometimes it just makes it worse,” she said.

Mrs. Obama told the students that everybody has bad days.

“Nobody is going to have a great day every day. Everybody has a bad day – even me,” she said. “Even the President of the United States has a couple of bad days.”

But she asked the students never to give up, even when life is difficult. “When something gets hard, because it will be – there will be plenty of things that will be hard for you all; there are things that are hard for me,” she said. “Will you promise me that you will not quit?”

She said their pledge would help her husband, President Barack Obama.

She also encouraged the students to work hard at their studies.

“I want you all to be good readers, and to love learning and to love books, because it just makes life easier for you and it’s more fun,” she said.

Mrs. Obama visited the school to meet with leaders from the dropout prevention organization Communities In Schools, which provides individual tutoring for the third graders she met.

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