This is historical material “frozen in time”. The website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work.
Let's Move Logo

First Lady Column on Healthier Schools

Whether they’re filling up their first book bag for Kindergarten or starting to think about life after high school, the fact is our kids spend much of their time at school. They’re not just learning the alphabet or algebra, they’re learning what kinds of foods they like, new games to play, and health habits that will carry over long after the school day is done. And so, during our first year with Let’s Move!, we’ve put an emphasis on working with schools to create healthy, active environments. Ending the epidemic of childhood obesity in a generation can only happen if our schools are onboard.

But we know that in these days of cramped budgets and limited resources, it can be difficult for schools to always prioritize the healthiest options. Yet we’ve seen schools across the country –teams of educators, administrators, parents, and, yes, students – take steps to make their students healthier. They’re revamping physical education curriculum and adding back recess. They’re adding salad bars to the cafeteria. They’re partnering with community groups for safe places to play. They’re bringing chefs in to cook in the lunchroom and talk to students about healthy habits. They’re planting school gardens – even on top of concrete if they have to.

And at Let’s Move!, we’re doing everything we can to support schools. We worked with Congress to pass the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, a bipartisan bill that provides more nutritious lunches and breakfasts to millions of students across the country. We’re working to double the number of schools participating in the HealthierUS Schools Challenge, a program that encourages schools to set and achieve nutrition and activity standards. And we’ve extended an invitation to the White House for schools that reach their goals. We’ve worked with the nation’s largest school food providers, and they’ve committed to providing more fruits and vegetables and meeting recommended levels of whole grains, sugars, and fats in school meals.

All of this is making an impact, and as I’ve visited schools across the country, I’ve seen that these changes are popular, too. The kids like playing. The parents are excited. The administrators are proud of their accomplishments. And the communities feel like they’re doing right by their kids. And that’s what this is all about – we need to make sure that our kids have the fuel they need to succeed in the classroom and in life. So we’re going to keep working, keep moving, until we give our kids the healthy futures they deserve.

(Please feel free to distribute this as part of a newsletter, website post, or to attendees of an event or rally.)