The best part about volunteering for Saturday Academy is, of course, the kids. Dragging myself out of bed at 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning seems like a chore, until I arrive at 930 a.m. and hear the team leaders describe the activities for the day: indoor kickball, human knots and the favorite old stand-by of kid science projects everywhere: the baking soda and vinegar volcano. Then the kids show up, and the BIG fun starts! My favorite station, to my own surprise –I’ve gotten a bit soft these last few years – is Strong Body. A great problem with childhood obesity exists in Anchorage, so much so that city officials called a town meeting to address the problem. I find great satisfaction in believing that through our program, kids can have the hope of a healthy body in the future. Greg and Dan really work us, and we can't expect the kids to do something we ourselves won't do! So, as I crab-walk, jog, monkey crawl and side-step around the gym, huffing and puffing and sweating, a sense of joy comes over me, knowing that me looking and feeling a bit silly serves a greater purpose.
Both the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of the Interior are partners in helping kids exercise this summer. Youth need 60 minutes of active play time each day. Through the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (PCPFS), Let's Read. Let's Move. will get more youth physically active. HHS hopes that thousands of young people across the country will take part in the President’s Active Lifestyle program and log their activity online. Toolkits provide parents, educators and groups information on ways to participate in the President's Challenge and the program’s rules.
Summer is a great opportunity for communities to address two of the challenges facing kids nationwide when school lets out: unhealthy eating habits and the summer reading gap. That’s why First Lady Michelle Obama has launched the Administration-wide Let’s Read. Let’s Move. initiative to combat childhood obesity and summer reading loss by encouraging youth to read and participate in physical activity, as well as providing access to healthy food. As part of that initiative, I joined a group of students today in upper Manhattan who are leading the charge against childhood obesity. They are the Mighty Milers of PS 128 and they have collectively run over 42,000 miles this year!
One year ago, First Lady Michelle Obama volunteered at one of our KaBOOM!-led builds at Bret Harte Elementary School in San Francisco. For six hours, she joined California First Lady Maria Shriver and 329 members of Shriver’s CaliforniaVolunteers, as well as volunteers from the Points of Light Institute and the Corporation for National and Community Service National Conference on Volunteering & Service. Together, they transformed the school’s vacant play lot into an intergenerational playground and garden.
The new Let's Move! website is live and has some great tools to help you get healthier and more active this summer. Yesterday, First Lady Michelle Obama sent an email that announces some of the new features for the LetsMove.gov website.
Work it out, Girl Scouts! Taking a lead from United We Serve: Let’s Read. Let’s Move, a Girl Scout troop from Waldorf, Maryland decided to cartwheel their way to better health and literacy. Brownie Troop 6202 joined forces with the Charles County Public Library, holding their first annual “Cartwheel-a-thon for a Cause” last month at White Plains Regional Park in White Plains, Maryland.
What are you up to this summer? Are you movin’ and shakin’? It’s easy to let the summer heat keep you from playing outside – maybe one of the reasons I took up figure skating was to stay cool in the summer. OK, that might not be 100% true, but having dedicated such a large part of my life to my sport, I know how important physical activity is for your body, mind, and spirit.
Girls on the Run of Northern Virginia is a part of an international organization dedicated to educating and preparing girls for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living through running. Girls on the Run offers a curriculum-based youth development program for girls in grades 3-8. The curriculum is delivered in 10-week sessions by trained volunteer coaches and culminates in a celebratory 5K running event.
Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter believes in the power of service to address real community needs. “As summer school and many other summer opportunities draw to a close at the end of July, it is more important than ever to leverage volunteers in ways that meet the academic, social and physical needs of our young people straight through to the first day of school,” said Mayor Nutter in the days leading up to the launch of Philadelphia’s first ever summer service challenge.
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