Trump shocks fifth graders from Alabama on the first public White House tour of 2017

President Donald Trump walks with his grandchildren. Arabella Kushner and Joseph Kushner, holding a model of Marine One, across the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Friday, March 3, 2017, before boarding Marine One helicopter for the short flight to nearby Andrews Air Force Base, Friday, March 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

White House – Nearly 100 people, mainly fifth grade students were among the first visitors at the White House since President Trump took office in January.

The students traveled from Alabama’s Briarwood Christian School. White House aides directed the students to the bottom of the stairs off the East Room hallway.

President Trump gave the students an unexpected addition to the visit as he emerged for a surprise appearance to personally welcome the students to the White House.

The tour crowd burst into cheers, cell phones raised to capture the rare experience.

Trump waved to the group and Jack Cornish, 10, of Birmingham, Ala, approached the President to give him a hug as the crowd cheered.

“Work hard, everybody, work hard,” he said, standing in front of a portrait of former first lady Hillary Clinton.

Several people in the crowd Tuesday told the press pool that they made the request in December from their congressional offices, but they didn’t find out until last week that they got tickets.