Let's Move Outside
This summer, children in Reston, Virginia will enjoy new opportunities to get moving outside, thanks to six new kid-sized tennis courts in their community.
The Reston Tennis Association recently celebrated the opening of these courts, which were made possible through a $17,000 grant from the U.S. Tennis Association (UTSA). In 2011, the USTA joined First Lady Michelle Obama’s fight against childhood obesity by committing to build or restore 3,000 tennis courts in communities across the country. USTA continues to support these new facilities through its “10 & Under” tennis program, which offers equipment and programming resources for beginner athletes.
First Lady Michelle Obama was thinking of Sam Shihadeh and Rose Fakhoury when she challenged faith-based and community organizations to appoint wellness ambassadors. Sam, a personal trainer and council member of the Saint George Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church in Washington DC, and Rose, the Director of St. George’s Sunday School, joined forces to lead, organize and take action to improve health and wellness in their community. St. George Church hosted a Let’s Move! event on May 5, 2012 to get their community members eating healthy foods, moving and working to combat childhood obesity.
As a congregation inspired to fight obesity, the church practices what it preaches. The event kicked off with children racing through an outdoor obstacle course. During the day attendees heard from a diverse group of panelists such as doctors, personal trainers, and a registered dietitian, on the importance of leading a healthy life. I joined Paul Monteiro of the White House Office of Public Engagement to share more about the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative.
With less than a week to go before the Second Annual National Kids to Parks Day, more than 70,000 people in 45 states have pledged to go to a park and have some fun. With park events planned in 39 states, tens of thousands of kids and their parents will participate in what is becoming America’s national day of park play. National Kids to Parks Day is a great way to kick off the summer and reminds families to get out and enjoy the local, state and national parks in their communities.
Parks around the country are offering an enticing menu of events to attract visitors. In Virginia, all 36 state parks will offer an active, family-focused event for National Kids to Parks Day. In addition, families will be bird watching in California, fishing in Connecticut, biking and hiking in Georgia, doing volcano restoration in Hawaii, and pond prowling in Louisiana.
So far, 251 mayors in 45 states and Washington D.C. have sponsored and passed resolutions of support for this special day. Meanwhile, governors of Washington, Colorado, Vermont, Maryland, Virginia, Missouri, and West Virginia have officially declared May 19 National Kids to Parks Day.
Yesterday, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama welcomed MLS Cup Champions the LA Galaxy to the White House. President Obama honored the teams 2011 season and their MLS Cup victory and the First Lady hosted a question and answer session where the players discussed getting active, eating right and keeping healthy with an audience of young, talented soccer fans from around the country.
With summer right around the corner, this is a perfect time to get moving! For most kids, the end of the school year means more free time for adventures, outdoor activities, and fun with friends. At the same time, we know that a few months of inactivity can lead to critical gaps in health and education that put kids at risk for childhood obesity and learning loss. For parents, keeping their kids healthy and active during the summer requires planning and preparation.
Starting this weekend, your family can celebrate National Park Week (April 21-29) by enjoying any of America’s 397 national parks for free! National parks are home to our country’s most spectacular natural and cultural landscapes – not to mention thousands of lakes, rivers, trails, and open spaces that invite families to get out and get moving!
Ed. note: This was cross-posted from the White House blog.
The White House held a poster competition and invited elementary and middle school students nationwide to submit poster designs for the 2012 Easter Egg Roll. Students from over 20 states submitted entries. First Lady Michelle Obama selected winning designs for the 2012 Official Easter Egg Roll program cover and 2012 Official Easter Egg Roll poster. Posters will be handed out as a prize to children who win the Easter Egg Roll or Egg Hunt.
In February we celebrated the second anniversary of Let’s Move!, and First Lady Michelle Obama took to the road, touring the country and highlighting the achievements of Let’s Move! programs in communities just like yours.
To date, the initiative has touched families, schools and organizations across the country and inspired local changes to improve the health, life and happiness of children and youth. We put together a collection of some of our favorite moments from the trip:
Today, the White House honored twelve Americans who are who are living the goals of Let’s Move! everyday as Champions of Change. Each of the invitees is an example of what First Lady Michelle Obama called the founding purpose of Let’s Move! – community leaders, teachers and health professsionals who have found creative ways to keep our children active and healthy and get their communities moving!
During the event, the Champions each talked about the program they developed or introduced to their community and together they spoke about how small changes can yield tremendous wins in the lives of their students, area children and families.