Michelle Obama's 'Embarrassing' 47th Birthday Serenade

01/17/2011 at 01:15 PM EST

Martin Luther King Jr. - Michelle Obama Celebrates Birthday with Service
The Obamas
J. Scott Applewhite/AP
Michelle Obama was there to mark the contributions of Martin Luther King Jr., but the crowd waiting at Stuart Hobson Middle School in Washington, D.C., had a surprise for her.

As the First Lady and her husband, President Barack Obama, along with their children Sasha and Malia, entered the cafeteria at the school Monday, she was greeted with a rousing rendition of "Happy Birthday."

While the president looked relaxed and enjoyed singing along, the First Lady – who was celebrating her 47th birthday – looked embarrassed and hugged Sasha from behind.

When the singing subsided, Michelle said, "All right, let's get to work. This is embarrassing."

The first family then circulated through the group, observing mentors from different programs (organized by Greater DC Cares' Mentoring Matters Initiative) as they worked on projects including painting "dancing fruit" on pillars, a move intended to "encourage healthy eating habits" according to information at the event.

"Doing great work. Great work," Barack Obama told one table. Later, the entire family got down to painting and crafting with the rest of the attendees, with the president coloring the bicep on a flexing apple on one of the pillars and filling it in with yellow marker.

He also told reporters, "This is just an outstanding program, an example of what Martin Luther King's birthday should be all about ... Dr. King obviously had a dream of justice and equality in our society but he also had a dream of service, that you could be a drum major for service, that you could lead by giving back to our communities. That's what this program is all about."

"Michelle and I and the girls are extraordinarily proud that each year on Martin Luther King's birthday this is how we celebrate is making sure we're giving back to the community."

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