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What Jill Biden plans to do when she’s in Utah

The first lady arrives Wednesday afternoon and will visit a west Salt Lake City school and a vaccination event.

(Mandel Ngan | Pool via AP) First lady Jill Biden, speaks with Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, and his wife Phefelia Nez at Window Rock, Ariz., in the Navajo Nation on Thursday, April 22, 2021.

First lady Jill Biden plans to spend Wednesday afternoon in Salt Lake City, the start of a three-state Western swing.

During her few hours in Utah, she’ll meet with students and teachers and tour a vaccine clinic. While the details are still being finalized, here’s what we can say about her visit:

Recognizing educators

The first lady’s motorcade will make its first stop at Glendale Middle School.

It’s a digital education day so the west Salt Lake City school will be largely empty. Still, she’ll have a chance to spend about an hour getting a tour and visiting with two groups of students.

Biden will spend some time with the ukulele club, where 12 students will play her a song. Teacher Dane Hess leads that club. He also spearheaded a school project in which students have their photos posted on a wall with a statement that starts “I am...”

The students picked their own endings to the sentence. Six of those students will share what they selected with Biden.

Glendale has 814 students enrolled in grades six through eight, and 91% of them are racial or ethnic minorities. Of those, 65% are Hispanic.

Next, Biden will go to a school common area, where about 50 educators will gather. Biden, who continues to work as a community college professor, will deliver a speech in the middle of National Teacher Appreciation Week.

“It will mean a lot for teachers to hear from the first lady, especially this week,” said Yándary Chatwin, spokeswoman for the Salt Lake City School District.

(Evan Vucci | AP) President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden applaud a student during a visit to Yorktown Elementary School, Monday, May 3, 2021, in Yorktown, Va.

Vaccines for all

After leaving the school, Biden will travel to nearby Jordan Park, where a vaccination clinic will aim to inoculate between 100 and 200 people.

The event, called the 5 de Mayo Vaccination Pop Up, was organized by state Rep. Angela Romero, D-Salt Lake City, in coordination with Comunidades Unidas, Salt Lake City and the Salt Lake County Health Department. Aimed at Utah’s Hispanic residents, the vaccination event is by appointment only, though the people who signed up are encouraged to bring relatives with them.

“This shows the commitment of the president and first lady to all community members and to ensure that nobody is left behind,” said Romero, who added that Biden wants to promote vaccinations among Black, Indigenous and people of color.

This is one of about 10 community vaccination drives organized by Comunidades Unidas, said Mayra Cedano, executive director of the nonprofit organization. Having Biden visit, she said, “sends a message that we matter and the work that we do is important.”

Cedano is “super excited” that the first lady would visit this community, and she wants to “share with her stories of immigrants and the impact immigrants are having in our own communities but also in the nation.”

Scott Howell, who helped President Joe Biden’s campaign in Utah, said the “whole theme of her trip is based on appreciation and gratitude and thanking front-line workers, that includes teachers, of course the medical profession, volunteers.”

(Mandel Ngan | Pool via AP) First lady Jill Biden comforts a woman receiving her COVID-19 vaccine while visiting a vaccination center at First Choice Community Healthcare - South Valley Medical Center in in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Tuesday, April 21, 2021. At left is New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

Her next stops

That theme of appreciation is clear in the rest of her itinerary.

She is scheduled to fly from Salt Lake City International Airport to Las Vegas, where she’ll spend the night, and, on Thursday, she’ll thank nurses on National Nurses Day at the University Medical Hospital. After that, she’ll travel to Fort Carson, Colo., where she plans to give a speech in advance of Military Spouse Appreciation Day at a USO event.

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