GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (GRPS) — Governor Gretchen Whitmer stopped by to visit scholars at Ken-O-Sha Park Elementary School Monday afternoon.

The scholars participating in the LOOP after school program had the opportunity to speak with the governor. She visited as part of her push to increase funding for tutoring and after school programming through a plan she calls “MI Kids Back on Track”.

After a “vote” among the scholars, the kids elected to have Gov. Whitmer read “Click Clack Moo Cows That Type” by Doreen Cronin.

After the governor read the book, she took questions from the scholars about her role in state government.

One of the children asked: “What is a governor?”

“I’m like the president of Michigan,” Gov. Whitmer explained. “I’ve got the highest elected office in the whole state of Michigan… I do everything from write the state budget, to sign or veto bills.”

“Do you have any advice for young independent women?” a young girl asked confidently.

“I do!” the governor exclaimed. “Be yourself! When I was your age I don’t think enough adults told me to be who I was.”

The governor’s visit to Ken-O-Sha lasted about a half hour with 14 scholars participating in the conversation with her.

State Rep. Kristian Grant was also in attendance along with Grand Rapids Board of Education President Kim Williams and GRPS Superintendent Leadriane Roby, Ph.D.

“It was wonderful to see our young people engaging with their governor,” Dr. Roby said. “Gov. Whitmer has made some of the most significant school funding increases in recent history and we’re grateful she had the opportunity to see the faces of the scholars whose lives are impacted positively by these decisions.”

Prior to her stop at Ken-O-Sha, the governor visited Kids’ Food Basket, a Grand Rapids non-profit organization that aims to find community solutions to childhood hunger. Gov. Whitmer is seeking to provide free school breakfast and lunch for public school students statewide.

The governor was all smiles as she left Ken-O-Sha.

“It was fun! I love being around the kids,” the governor said as she made her way out of the building. “They’re so smart and so fun.”