First Lady Michelle Obama is leading the U.S. Delegation to the 2012 Olympic Games and she's calling on families around the country to support Team USA, not just by cheering on our athletes, but by getting active in their own communities.
Saturday, July 28this the first day of the competition in London. We're calling on families around the country to join us by participating in “Olympics-inspired” Meetups in your towns or neighborhoods.
Suggest a location for your Meetup: Find a local park, community center or another space that will fit for your Meetup
Add the details: Let others know what to expect. Are you planning a hoola-hoop contest, a relay race or soccer game? See a list of more Meetup ideas and activities here, but feel free to get creative!
Talk about the Meetup! Start a conversation on the Meetup page and get the word out in your community. Use Facebook and Twitter to encourage others to join and plan their own Meetups.
Need some ideas to get started? Here are 10 Olympic inspired activities, and stay tuned as we continue to add ideas for your Let's Move! Olympic Fun Day:
The Summer Games contain more than 40 different Track & Field Athletics! Combine multiple activities into a relay race around the neighborhood or park you're using to stage your event. In addition to running, consider incorporating different types of movement, including skipping, jumping, and bear crawling. Set individual goals for time or distance, or compete as separate teams.
Did you know that the U.S. Women's Basketball team has won four gold medals in a row? Follow their lead and include a tournament in your neighborhood's Olympic Day event. Create teams of 2 or more players and mix it up with dribbling races or shooting contests.
Tennis can be played on many surfaces, including asphalt, clay, or even grass!This year's Olympic tennis competition will be held onthe iconic grass courts at Wimbledon.While you won't find many grass courts in the U.S., tennis is a great way to get your community moving. A round robin tournament is a fun way to include people of all ages and skill levels in your town's event. (If your kids get inspired and want to improve their skills, find a court near you that offers lessons).
Lace up your sneakers for a game of Olympic football – known in the U.S. as SOCCER! This is an easy, familiar sport that is fun for all ages and ability levels. Create teams as small or as large as you want. (The official size is 11 players per team.)
Bump-Set-Spike! These are the fundamental techniques for playing volleyball, a popular sport that first made it into the Summer Olympics in 1964. Volleyball is typically played with six players per team, but you can play with as few as two. Set up a net on grass, sand, or a gym court and get moving!
Swimming is one of the most watched Olympic sports. You can organize races – or, depending on the ages of your participants, games with balls, diving rings, and other water toys -- at a beach, lake, or pool in your area. For important water safety info and to find a pool near you, visit swimtoday.org/.
Olympic cycling includes road events, track racing, BMX and mountain biking. Map out a safe cycling course, and take turns riding through it as individuals, or in teams. Consider riding on a paved pathway, or for a more rugged ride, try grass or dirt. Find a safe place to ride near you here.
Gymnasts produce some of the most awe-inspiring moments of the Summer Games. Even if your participants can't do a double back flip (on a balance beam), there are plenty of gymnastics events that are fun and safe. Check out the American Council on Exercise's ideas for fun stretches and movements that bring out the gymnast in everyone.
Go retro! Organize teams for a tug of war, which was an official Olympic sport until 1920. It was also part of the original Olympic Games, dating back to 500 BC. In the modern Olympics, the tug-of-war contest was between two teams of eight, and one team had to pull the other six feet along in order to win. If after 5 minutes no team had done this, the team which had pulled the most was declared the winner.
Make sure your littlest athletes feel involved. Think about including activities that are fun for all skill levels, like who can hula hoop for the longest, or who can do the most jumping jacks.
“I am the leadership of the now.” That's what Ely Flores told the White House Council for Community Solutions (the Council) during our meeting in October 2011. Ely used this phrase to express his deep frustration with policymakers and organizations that refer to youth as the “leadership of the future” and dismiss any potential contribution that young people can make in their communities today. Ely's words still resonate with me nearly seven months later – and motivate me to push harder to help young people with similar frustrations.
While Juliana Ko was serving with Teach for America on the outskirts of a Navajo Nation Reservation, she tragically lost one of her students to suicide and knew that she had to do something for her adopted community.
I am honored to be recognized as a Champion of Change through President Obama's Winning the Future Initiative. I have volunteered with the President at service projects in Washington, DC and along with my colleagues at HandsOn Greater DC Cares and the volunteer community of our region, share his commitment to achieving change through service.
Within tribal communities, Native Americans are uniting to combat the dire problems affecting their populations, including poverty, addiction, and high suicide rates. Native American youth leaders have taken the lead, inspiring their communities to take action and tackling these issues head on.
As one of the coordinators of the White House Mentorship Program I was moved by HandsOn Greater DC Cares' new initiative to encourage for-profit corporations to provide mentoring opportunities for under-served youth in the Greater D.C. Community. The organization demonstrates the importance of bringing public and private sectors to together to better serve our communities.
Three years ago Chris Oliver was unemployed and facing homelessness after being evicted from his Dallas apartment. He turned to City Square, a local nonprofit that provides vital services to neighbors struggling with poverty. City Square didn't just help Chris put food on the table – it gave him a second chance on life. He joined City Square's AmeriCorps program, where he served for two years. Now Chris has a full-time position working in the organization's homeless outreach program.
This past September 12, Pepperdine University alumni, parents, and friends took part in service projects around campus, across the nation, and around the world as part of the 21st annual Step Forward Day.
In Wimberley, $3 million dollars has been collected through monthly, volunteer-driven Market Days. Since the 1960's, that money has gone exclusivly towards providing important resources to the town and its citizens.
I became certified as a Guardian ad Litem in Marion County, Florida in April 2009. In case you are not familiar, guardians are volunteers that are appointed to cases where children have been removed from their homes by DCF due to abuse/safety conditions. It is our job to be the voice for the children in the courts and advocate for them.
This year during Ramadan, right before the start of the United We Serve Interfaith Week of Service, the Interfaith Committee at my church, St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Arlington, Virginia, organized an iftar (dinner to break the Ramadan fast) for members of local Muslim communities. More than 60 Catholics and Muslims attended the dinner, a turnout far surpassing our expectations.
For low income non-English speaking families, tax season can be a daunting time. In Pinal County, Arizona, Ricardo Banuelos has opened up 16 centers to help residents overcome language barriers and recover the benifits they are entitled to.
Danielle talks about the challenges ("try getting a physically combative 60 lb. 5 yr. old in a car seat by yourself") and triumphs ("I could see him carrying himself differently") of mentoring 5-year old Tyler, a young boy struck by the instability and stigma of having an incarcerated parent.
Beverley is a volunteers with Prisoner Visitation & Support in rural West Virginia. Her experiences have allowed her to inspire others and be inspired. Through her visits, she hopes to serve as a role model for those inside and outside of the prison walls.
On Monday, Secretary Vilsack was in Zanesville, Ohio for a Rural Tour town hall focusing on green jobs and a new energy economy. After the forum, the Secretary visited Maple Terrace, a public housing facility for low-income senior citizens. He led an interfaith service event highlighting President Obama’s United We Serve volunteerism initiative. Secretary Vilsack joined local Christian, Jewish, and Muslim leaders to distribute energy-efficient Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs (CFLs) to Maple Terrace residents.
Sara shares the story of Andrea, a guidance counslor at Vero Beach Elementary School, who used her time off this summer to volunteer with the Social Entrée Meals program at the Senior Resource Association of Indian River County, Florida.
Joel Berg at the New York City Coalition Against Hunger works with community volunteers in 3 New York City neighborhoods to organize Community Supported Agriculture Projects - programs that make farm fresh produce accessible and affordable for all income levels.
9/2/2009 3:49:23 PM
At a time when many Americans are struggling with the loss of their job or their home, you can help meet some of their most basic needs by working to reduce hunger, secure donated clothing and strengthen community resources.