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Celebrating Let’s Move!: Ensuring Bright, Healthy Futures for America’s Youth

Childhood Obesity, Let's Move!, School, Youth | February, 25 2014

By: Shellie Y. Pfohl, Executive Director, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition

Four years after First Lady Michelle Obama launched Let’s Move!, an initiative dedicated to ending the childhood obesity epidemic in America within a generation, we celebrate the tremendous progress that has been made to ensure that children grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams.

We learn more and more about how to achieve this goal every year. We know that kids are spending six to seven hours a day in school, which is why we at the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition (PCFSN) have directed our focus on the school environment over the past year. On February 28, 2013, PCFSN joined the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) and other leaders in the space of physical activity promotion to launch Let’s Move! Active Schools.

 Let’s Move! Active Schools is a comprehensive school-based physical activity program designed to provide physical activity opportunities for all students across the nation before, during and after school.  According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, kids need at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day to be healthy and perform at their best. Research shows that when kids are active, they get better grades, have better attendance and their behavior improves. This month, we are proud to also be celebrating the first anniversary of Let’s Move! Active Schools.

Over the past 12 months, over 6,800 schools across all 50 states have signed up for Let’s Move! Active Schools, which impacts more than 3.5 million students nationwide! We have been fortunate to partner with outstanding organizations that have committed to improving the health of our nation's youth by providing resources and funding opportunities to create active school environments nationwide. To see firsthand how schools are making significant improvements, check out the video, developed by LMAS partner NIKE, featuring DC Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson and Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvahlo.

For more success stories like these, visit www.letsmoveschools.org.  

With so many schools making great strides to create early positive physical activity experiences for youth, we are confident that our collective efforts will help all students reach their full potential. It takes school champions to activate this program and to make a difference in the lives of youth throughout our nation’s communities. That’s why we need people like you to help. Encourage your local school or school district to sign up and take advantage of the resources available through Let’s Move! Active Schools.  And, to celebrate the 1st anniversary of Let’s Move! Active Schools, we want you to show us how you have impacted the school environment in your community throughout the week by using #LetsMove #ActiveSchools on Twitter. We can’t wait to hear your success stories!

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