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First Lady Michelle Obama, Shaquille O’Neal, Allyson Felix and Dominique Dawes Kick Off the School Year with Big Commitments from DC Public Schools at Let’s Move! Active Schools Event

School is back in session and what better way to celebrate than by breaking a sweat? Yesterday afternoon, First Lady Michelle Obama joined students from Orr Elementary in Washington D.C. along with some stellar athletes for the Let’s Move! Active Schools Back to School event. The First Lady spoke to educators and administrators about the important role that schools and their teachers have in fostering a healthier environment for this generation of kids.

First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks during a back to school "Let's Move! Active Schools" event at Orr Elementary School in Washington, D.C., Sept. 6, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

Though major strides have been made in combatting childhood obesity—for the first time in decades, obesity rates have declined in multiple states across the country—Mrs. Obama stressed that a continuing commitment to promoting nutrition and physical fitness in our schools is needed now more than ever. 

"Make no mistake about it, we are changing the conversation in this country.  We are creating a cultural shift in how we live and eat.  And our efforts are beginning to have a real impact on our children’s lives," Mrs. Obama said.

The First Lady, along with former NBA basketball player Shaquille O’Neal, U.S. track and field Olympian Allyson Felix, and U.S. Olympic gymnast Dominique Dawes, joined Orr Elementary students in fun, physical activities organized by Build Our Kids’ Success, a program designed to enhance the academic performance and overall health of kids through fitness.

First Lady Michelle Obama participates in a musical run and musical hoops activity with students during a back to school "Let's Move! Active Schools" event at Orr Elementary School in Washington, D.C., Sept. 6, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

Mrs. Obama commended Kaya Henderson, Chancellor of DC Public Schools (DCPS) for her incredible announcement of having all 111 DC Public Schools signed up for Let’s Move! Active Schools.

“Right now, we’re truly at a pivotal moment – a tipping point when the message is just starting to break through, when new habits are just beginning to take hold, and we’re seeing the very first glimmer of the kind of transformational change that we’re capable of making in this country," the First Lady said. “And if we keep pushing forward, we have the potential to transform the health of an entire generation of young people.”

Inspired by DC Public Schools? Learn more about Let’s Move! Active Schools and sign your school or district up here! Check out the First Lady’s full remarks here for some extra motivation to get involved.