The actress and member of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) joined students from the King School in Portland, Oregon, at the first-ever White House Talent Show, hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama.
Parker serves as a guest artist at the school as part of the Turnaround Arts initiative, a PCAH program that brings arts education to low-performing schools that lack such programs.
According to the organization, 3.9 million elementary school students have no access to arts classes, and at-risk students cite their participation in the arts as a reason for staying in school.
"The hallways in the entire building are brimming with a renewed pride," Parker, 49, told the audience in the East Room of the White House of her students putting on a musical for the very first time. (See below for her pre-show warm-up with one of the little performers!)
Other Turnaround Arts artists in attendance included Alfre Woodard, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith and Modern Family's Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who's been newly paired with a school in California.
The performances of the Turnaround Arts schools in the talent show were "moving and unbelievably good," Ferguson told PEOPLE. "Better than some things I've seen professionally!"
"After seeing today I'm excited to see what I can do with these kids. It's really inspiring."
Ferguson was then interrupted by an excited student who told him, "I saw you on TV!"
"I saw you on stage," the actor replied. "You were amazing."