Magic and Wonder at The White House

Local KidScoop youth journalist Isla Lopez experiences the wonder of an assignment at the White House. “It was amazing going behind the scenes to experience what many other visitors do not get to see,” Isla said. (Photo by Michelle Mayans)

By Isla Lopez, age 11
KidScoop Media Correspondent

Since I was a little girl I have always loved to wrIte stories so I was eager to work with Kid Scoop Media(KSM) and learn more about being a reporter. On November 27, I had the honor of going to the White House with KSM to report on the unveiling of the official holiday decorations.

It was my first trip to Washington, D.C. and I was able to step in the shoes of a press reporter for the day, see First Lady Dr. Jill Biden give her remarks and meet many members of her press team. They were all so welcoming! I also was able to attend the official daily press briefing.

Unfortunately I had a question prepared but wasn’t able to ask it because of the special briefing by John Kirby. However, it was amazing going behind the scenes to experience what many other visitors do not get to see.

The theme that the First Lady selected this year was magic, wonder and joy. I had the special opportunity to speak with Vanessa Valdivia, the Press Secretary for First Lady Jill Biden and she shared how the theme came together.

Also, I was able to interview White House Social Secretary Carlos Elizondo. He explained how each room fit the theme. I’d love to share a few of my favorite rooms.

I entered the White House through a grand colonnade where sweet treats and candies were hanging from above my head. It was so magical walking through that hallway it felt like it was a dream or I was imagining a candyland kingdom!

The China room was definitely my favorite since it was decorated as a sweet shop with desserts such as cookies, cakes, and gingerbread.

The baking ingredients reminded people of the special holiday recipes that families have at home. For me this room reminded me of the joy I feel when my abuelita makes her homemade cookies at Christmas.

Lastly, one of my highlights was seeing the gingerbread White House in the State Dining room. I was able to interview the pastry chef , Susan Morrison, and learn about how she made the house with 30 pounds of chocolate, 40 sheets of gingerbread dough and 50 pounds of royal icing!

After the tour I attended the daily press briefing with White House Press Secretary Karin Jean Pierre. It was cool to see the reporters asking their questions and broadcasting live.

I even got to step into one of the tents where the news correspondents are recorded live.

Overall, I think it’s amazing how so many people come together to decorate the whole White House in just one week and then how it gets shared via reporters like me to the world! It was a trip I will never forget.

I think it’s such an inspiring place and I’m so thankful that the first lady’s press office welcomed me.

For more information on how to be a kid reporter, visit