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The President's Weekly Address

May 02, 2015

Hi, everybody. I'm speaking with you from the DC Public Library in Anacostia, where I just met with a group of promising middle school students. We spent some time talking about their lives and how we all care about their success and how that starts with a good education.

So one thing I announced here in Anacostia is a new project by libraries and major publishers to provide more than $250 million in free eBooks for low-income students. We also issued a challenge to mayors, libraries, and school leaders to help every student get a library card so they can expand their horizons in a place like this.

It's all part of our ConnectED initiative to connect 99 percent of America's students to high-speed Internet. Because no matter who you are, where you live, or how much money you've got, you should be able to access the world's knowledge and information just like anyone else. In a global economy, we've got to help ensure that everyone, of every age, in every ZIP Code—urban and rural—has the chance to learn the skills that lead directly to a good job.

It's also why I've put forward a plan to make 2 years of community college as free and universal for every American as high school is today. It's something I'll talk about in my commencement address next week at Lake Area Tech, in the small town of Watertown, South Dakota. It's a community college with a graduation rate that is nearly twice the national average. They're proving that a great education can be within everyone's reach.

All of us have a responsibility to not only make sure our own children have pathways to success, but that all children do. And a great education is the ticket to a better life like never before. Making sure all our kids receive one is the surest way to show them that their lives matter. And it's the smartest way to prove to them that in communities like this and in a country like ours, we believe in opportunity for all.

Thanks, everybody. And have a great weekend.

NOTE: The address was recorded at approximately 12 p.m. on April 30 in Room 1 of the Anacostia Neighborhood Library for broadcast on May 2. The transcript was made available by the Office of the Press Secretary on May 1, but was embargoed for release until 6 a.m. on May 2.

Barack Obama, The President's Weekly Address Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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