Former President Visits School As Santa and Reads to Children

Barack Obama surprised a Chicago pre-K with a holiday treat. Read on to find out all about it!

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Barack Obama holding a sack filled with toys and wearing a Santa hat as he enters a classroom.

A wholesome event occurred on December 12 at the Parkside Academy in South Shore as students were in the midst of learning about the 44th president of the United States. Lo and behold, hat on his head and filled sack in tow, the former 44th President, Barack Obama walked in as a special surprise.

This time of year, there is a plethora of parents and volunteers who sign up to help with holiday parties and read-a-long events for small children, but who would have thought that they’d be sitting in the room with one of the most influential men in the world?

As a part of his Obama Foundation, the former president is determined to establish outreach involvement with his community in Chicago. One of Obama’s efforts included reading to a pre-K class a Christmas story, Santa’s Gotta Go, by Derrick Barnes. He sat with the children and read them the newly published children’s picture book about siblings Monty and Mabel. They get to hang out with Santa as he awaits spare parts for his broken-down sleigh. The siblings get into some rip-roaring moments with the Jolly Ol’ Elf, including an interesting snack choice and maybe a musical rendition or two.

Santa's Gotta Go by Serrick Barnes, book cover showing a rock star stant and two children

Check out the author’s IG reel highlighting the experience! Obama had a lot of fun with this, and it’s apparent in the kids’ eyes!

What an amazing experience these tiny bookworms got to have this holiday season!

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Find Santa’s Gotta Go and more on our Holiday Children’s Books bookshelf on