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For most teenagers, the stresses of school, homework, friends, and extra-curricular activities are enough to fill the daily schedule. But not for Zoe Gates. As a third grader in Andover, Massachusetts, Zoe Gates realized that she wanted to contribute to her community in a bigger way and work on a unique project that would benefit others. Zoe and one of her friends, both avid readers, decided to launch a book drive so that other children could experience the same joy and excitement they felt whenever they read a book.

The U. S. Department of Education - Reading five books over the summer prevents learning loss. Working with DOE, Let's Read. Let's Move. will increase awareness about the critical importance of summer learning and encourage Americans to read to children. Additionally, DOE’s 2010 Summer Enrichment Series will invite Cabinet members, Administration officials, and other public figures to read children’s books, promote healthy lifestyles, and participate in games and fitness activities with children in pre-kindergarten through third grade.

United We Serve: Let’s Read. Let’s Move. is collaborating with the National Summer Learning Association to encourage communities and their children to get involved in summer reading programs.

United We Serve: Let’s Read. Let’s Move is working with Reach Out and Read to alleviate this problem. Reach Out and Read, the nationwide school readiness program, today launched a bold new campaign to give brand-new, age-appropriate books to one million children in need before Labor Day.

Washington Redskin and education activist Chris Draft and 100 local students from Wheaton Woods Elementary School and Columbia Heights Youth Club joined Secretary Arne Duncan at the Department of Education (ED) for the third installment of ED’s “Let’s Read. Let’s Move.” summer enrichment series.

For parents looking to ensure that their children don’t start the school year behind the rest of the class, heading to the pediatrician may not be the obvious solution that comes to mind. But Reach Out and Read hopes to change that.

On Friday, U.S. Congressman Joe Courtney (2nd District – Connecticut) stopped by to visit a program that is carrying out the mission and goals of United We Serve Let’s Read. Let’s Move. Camp Rotary is a five-week summer program for middle school students in New London, Connecticut. The camp is made possible by a unique partnership between the Connecticut College Office of Volunteers for Community Service, New London Public Schools, the Rotary Club of New London, and the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Mrs. Marian Robinson, mother of First Lady Michelle Obama, and over 100 local students from Columbia Heights Youth Club’s Reading is Fundamental (RIF) program, the Alexandria Happy Home Child Learning Center and the D.C. Bilingual Public Charter School joined Secretary Arne Duncan at the Department of Education for the fourth installment of the Department’s “Let’s Read. Let’s Move.” summer enrichment series.

This summer, the President and First Lady launched United We Serve: Let’s Read, Let’s Move – a national call to use service as a tool to promote physical activity, healthy eating and to prevent the loss of academic learning during the summer months. This call to service encourages Americans to help fight something called the “summer reading gap” - where kids who don’t read during the summer can lose months of educational progress. And in her remarks, the First Lady emphasized the need for collaboration to make this summer a success:

When a youth sports coach says ‘run’, kids run. That’s because kids respect and listen to their coaches. That led us to a simple idea: when a coach says read, youth will do just that this summer.


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