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St. Louis Students Celebrate Second Year of Let's Move

Dozens of St. Louis elementary school students kicked off the second year of Let’s Move! with a dancing, stretching, and stepping celebration at Ford Community Education and Full Service School.

The enthusiastic audience of first through sixth graders marked the first anniversary of the Let’s Move! initiative with appearances by NASCAR Champion Carl Edwards, members of the St. Lunatics hip-hop group and the Cardio Queen, a local fitness instructor, who warmed up the audience with a series of exercises. And a special performance by the Ford Steppers, a step team of Ford Elementary fifth and sixth graders also got the kids moving.

Students got the chance to see healthy cooking demonstrations by Registered Dietitian Irene Wan and 9th grader Essence Imani, who is editor of “E.I.”, a new teen magazine.

The Feb. 8 event was kicked off with an explanation of the Let’s Move! program by CAPT Jose Belardo, the Department of Health and Human Services’ acting regional health administrator, and Warren Nichols of the St. Louis Health Department. teachers, school officials, community advocates and government leaders joined the students in the celebration.

Mr. Edwards, a race car driver who is a member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, told the audience that First Lady Michelle Obama was proud of them for their promise to be physically active for at least 60 minutes most days of the week and for making healthier nutrition choices. Edwards promised to send a video of his message from the students to the First Lady, showcasing their enthusiasm to “Just Keep Moving” and their pledge to eat more fruits and vegetables.

The next treat was a special appearance by hip-hop stars Murphy Lee and KyJuan of the St. Lunatics.  They told the students about how they lead healthier lives through diet and exercise and they answered questions from the audience. The program with a question and answer session and prizes and bags of healthy snacks to eat.

The school staff and community partners who organized the event were impressed with the participation of such national stars in efforts to make kids healthier and more active.  They said it would encourage students throughout St. Louis to eat healthier foods and keep moving.