Let's Move! ... to the Electric Slide?
On Wednesday, First Lady Michelle Obama travelled to Jackson, Mississippi to visit two local schools and discuss ways to promote healthy schools as part of the recently launched Let's Move! campaign.
Mrs. Obama was joined by Governor Haley Barbour and Mississippi First Lady Marsha Barbour and local students on a visit to Pecan Park Elementary School's walking trail. The trail was installed as part of a state-wide initiative, Let's Go Walkin' Mississippi, to encourage more physical exercise among Mississippi residents.
Mrs. Obama then traveled to the Sam M. Brinkley Middle School, where she gave remarks to students, teachers and community leaders - all of whom are integral in our efforts to raise the healthiest generation.
During her remarks, Mrs. Obama highlighted the incredible efforts and creativity of the Jackson community and the entire state of Mississippi in their fight against childhood obesity:
And that's why I wanted to come to Mississippi. I picked this state because of all the creative things that are already happening here to fix things. I'm not here to highlight what's wrong; I'm here to highlight what's right - what we can do for our kids.
Lots of good examples, like up in Hernando, Mayor Chip Johnson is working to build more sidewalks and to bring weekly farmer's markets to town so folks in his town can be more active and eat better. And Mayor Johnson was with me when I launched Let's Move! in Washington, D.C. That's a good thing.
Here in Jackson, there's an organization called My Brother's Keeper that's launched an initiative called "Jump Start Jackson" - and there they're trying to bring more fresh grocers to town, and make it safe for kids to walk and bike to school.
And all across Mississippi - and this is really key because this is where the whole state can come into play. What the Governor has done is signed a law to help make sure that schools like Brinkley are giving students more time in school to be active and to play, and that they're teaching in the curriculum every day about healthy lifestyles and doing better to serve healthier lunches here - right - because many of the kids here, you're eating most of your meals here at school so it's incumbent upon us to make sure that those meals are healthy.
Mrs. Obama also focused on the importance of daily physical activity and play in the life of every child. The First Lady reiterated the importance of all of us moving each and every day by giving some examples of what her family does to stay active. She challenged the students in the audience to do the same:
One of the real things I'm highlighting is...that you all have to get moving, we all have to get moving, because you can eat the best food in the world, but if you all aren't active, it's going to be a tough thing.
So we need you all to get moving and be more active. This is where you guys come in, again, putting down the cell phones and thinking of creative things that you care about, whether it's getting your parents to do the Electric Slide or doing Dance, Dance Revolution. I don't - it doesn't matter what it is. My kids - me and the President and our kids play Dance, Dance Revolution. How many of you all have done that? That's a good game. That will make you sweat.
And we need you all working, finding creative ways to stay active and get your parents active. And we're going to expand the President's Fitness Challenge so that more kids can try new things and get awards; maybe come to the White House because you're meeting some goals; working with some professional athletes from all the leagues because a lot of them have signed on to help - people from Major League Baseball and the NBA and the NFL and WNBA. All of these professional athletes are going to be signing on to do clinics and to encourage you all to stay active.