A Texas kindergarten teacher received the shock of her life this week when an unexpected letter arrived in the mail...
From none other than the newly-elected president, Joe Biden.
I told you it was unexpected.
Here's the full story...
Now, President Biden has clearly thrown himself into his new role with gusto.
Just one week into his presidency, he has been busy getting the wheels turning on a Biden-run America... As well as dismantling a whole array of Trump-era regulations, of course.
Mere hours after his inauguration ceremony, Biden fulfilled one of his top campaign promises by pledging to put the U.S. back in the Paris Agreement on climate change - an international pact aimed at curbing emissions that cause global warming.
Trump famously withdrew from the agreement in 2017, citing costs to American taxpayers.
And as for the country's ongoing racial division?
Well, Biden has already got to work on putting the pieces back together.
He first signed an executive order to promote racial equity.
Biden ordered his government to conduct equity assessments of its agencies and reallocate resources to "advance equity for all, including people of color and others who have been historically underserved, marginalized and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality."
He then reversed Trump's infamous ban on U.S. entry from majority-Muslim countries.
Biden's proclamation reversed Trump's policy that barred entry to the U.S. for refugees and residents from 7 predominantly Muslim countries and orders plans within forty-five days for resuming visa processing.
He has even brought back the plans for the face of Harriet Tubman to be put on the new $20 bill design.
This plan was originally proposed by the Obama administration but was then promptly stalled upon Trump's entry to the White House.
In a Monday press briefing, White House Press Secretary, Jen Psaki said:
"It's important that our notes, our money... Reflect the history and diversity of our country, and Harriet Tubman's image gracing the new $20 note would certainly reflect that."
She added that the administration is "exploring ways to speed up that effort, but any specifics would, of course, come from the Department of Treasury."
And, on top of all that...
He has also been clamping down on the country's COVID-19 response.
Biden signed an executive order which created the position of COVID-19 response coordinator, who will advise the president and oversee the distribution of vaccines, tests, and other supplies.
An executive order requiring mask-wearing on federal property was also signed.
But it seems that the president has been throwing his energy into less formal matters, too.
As stated earlier, a Texas teacher and her kindergarteners were delighted this week when they received a reply from the president.
Martha Tavarez, of Barron Elementary School in El Paso, decided to send President Biden a welcome letter on behalf of her class.
Tavarez sent the letter after a lesson on the presidential election, in which she held a mock election for the children through virtual learning.
Biden received 5 votes from the class, Trump received 3...
And another 3 students simply couldn't decide, Tavarez said.
She explained further:
"We were learning what voting was and began by voting for fruits, vegetables, and we took it a step further and voted for the president. I assigned [them] to ask their folks who they're voting for and who they should vote for and why."
And, when Biden was confirmed as the president-elect, Tavarez asked the 5- and 6-year-old students for ideas on what to include in a letter...
Which they ended up posting to the White House, along with pictures of what they had been learning in class.
Of course, Tavarez never dreamed she would get a response...
So, when a letter from the White House arrived at the start of the month, she couldn't quite believe what she was seeing.
Biden responded to Tavarez's note, writing:
"I received your letter and wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your kind words." He continued his note by mentioning his vision for the future and how he remains "heartened by the spirit and resilience of the American people."
He concluded with:
"Thanks again for writing, Martha... For keeping the faith in us and in the country we love, I am forever grateful to you."
Tavarez and her class had actually received a letter from the vice president earlier last year, too.
"I don't expect anything in return, but I open my mailbox and it made me happy to know I was heard," she said. "I'm just an ordinary, everyday teacher. I want to show my kids how drawing a simple picture can bring a smile to someone's face."
What an incredible gesture.
Barron ES teacher received letters from 🇺🇸 President Biden and Vice President Harris. Teacher Martha Tavarez wrote to...Posted by Official El Paso Independent School District on Wednesday, 20 January 2021
Clearly, Biden's presidency has kicked off to a great start - let's hope it stays that way!