U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will visit Seaton Elementary in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, July 29, for a Let's Read! Let's Move! event celebrating the Read Where You Are day of action, and physical activity. The last few weeks of summer are the perfect time to help all young people, from the earliest readers, to high school students, to strive to read more – wherever they are. Research shows that young people who do not read over the summer fall behind their peers—especially children from low-income communities. When students are able to keep reading, they can keep learning, catch up and be more prepared when the new school year begins.
Duncan will join U.S. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald and Mrs. Diane McDonald, District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser,
District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services Chief Gregory M. Dean and D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid, reigning Major League Soccer 2014 goalkeeper of the year, as they read the book The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Olivier Jeffers to more than 120 children attending the event.
After the reading, the children will participate in fun, physical activities with firefighters as part of Fire Fighter Fitness camp, which includes a hose pull, dummy drag, exercise drills and a surprise bonus—hydrant water flow. Also, D.C. United will lead a soccer clinic, which includes agility training, passing to the goalkeeper Bill Hamid, and high fiving Talon, the D.C. United mascot. The YMCA of Metropolitan Washington will also lead with obstacle course activities, including the Jumbo Jam, tunnels and hopscotch. These Let’s Move! activities are inspired by First Lady Michelle Obama’s initiative to combat childhood obesity by emphasizing healthy eating and an active lifestyle.
“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.”
Let’s Read! Let’s Move! aims to increase awareness about the critical importance of summer learning, nutrition and physical activity. The Department of Education launched Let’s Read! Let’s Move! in 2010, following an Administration-wide effort by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency which administers AmeriCorps and other service programs. These events bring together hundreds of early learning students—pre-kindergarten through third-grade—across a diverse demographic stretching from the Washington D.C. metropolitan area and beyond. Let’s Read! Let’s Move! also encourages youth participation and community service through the support of the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington PHD (Physical, Healthy & Driven) program. Target Corporation will provide healthy snacks, and every child can select a free book to take home, courtesy of Target and its partnership with First Book.
Several organizations have launched summer reading challenges, such as the National PTA’s Family Reading Challenge through July, Book It! Summer Reading Challengethat runs through August, and the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge; launched in May. These challenges are designed to inspire families to read together. Many other organizations have an array of summer reading resources to keep kids reading, including Reading Rockets,PBS Kids, Reading is Fundamental, and Common Sense Media, among others. Young readers have many options to choose from when it comes to reading.
NOTE: Media must arrive by 10:30 a.m. due to security protocols.