First Lady, Duncan Promote Let’s Read! Let’s Move!


The US Department of Education is gearing up in preparation for its Let’s Read!  Let’s Move! summer series held at the National Archives in honor of freedom, history, and America’s birthday.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is set to visit the National Archives and Records Administration later this week for the first field trip for the movement, which was created as an effort to encourage children to learn over the summer months and take part in physical activity.  Duncan will be joined for the reading session by Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero, Chef José Andrés and Miss America 2015 Kira Kazantsev.  Children from local schools and early learning centers will participate.

“Thomas Jefferson” and Miss America are expected to kick off the festivities in an interactive discussion pertaining to rights, fairness and the Declaration of Independence, in which Jefferson will explain his role in the writing of the document.

Afterwards, Jefferson will read the preamble of the Declaration of Independence, followed by a reading of “In 1776″ by Jean Marzollo.  Miss America and Chef Andrés will then lead children in a fitness activity set to fife and drum, allowing them to “exercise their rights” in the pursuit of “life, liberty and a healthy lifestyle.”  Representatives from the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington will lead students in the Dance for the Declaration, Limbo for Life, Long Jump for Liberty and the Pounce for the Pursuit of Happiness Sack Race.

A chefs table will be available for children to learn to make a healthy, portable gazpacho.

“Children—especially young children—need experiences that help them continue learning throughout the summer to build a strong foundation for success in school and in life,” said Duncan. “Let’s Read! Let’s Move! provides fun, hands-on activities that highlight the importance of preparing students in every way possible—academically and physically—to achieve in school, by teaching them how a healthy, active lifestyle can positively affect their ability to learn.”

The Let’s Move! activities included in the event were created as a result of First Lady Michelle Obama’s fight to combat childhood obesity through an emphasis on healthy eating and physical exercise.

The movement was originally launched in 2010 as a result of an Administration-wide effort supported by the Corporation for National and Community Service.