U.S. Department of Education to Kick Off Let's Read! Let's Move! Summer Series with Celebrity Guests

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U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will host the first Let's Read! Let's Move! event of 2013 on Wed., July 10 at noon ET at the U.S. Department of Education headquarters in Washington, D.C. Joining Duncan will be Rep. John Kline of Minnesota, chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce; Sam Kass, executive director of Let's Move! and senior policy advisor on nutrition, and Michelle Kwan, member of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition and Olympic figure skater, who will read to students and answer their questions. Kwan and the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington will then lead students in the Let’s Move! session of fun, physical activities—such as the Shopping Cart Nutrition Race, Make a Salad Relay and Jumbo Jam Basketball—inspired by First Lady Michelle Obama's initiative to combat childhood obesity by emphasizing healthy eating and an active lifestyle.

The summer enrichment series is part of the Corporation for National and Community Service's United We Serve: Let's Read! Let's Move! initiative, which engages youth in summer reading and physical activity, as well as provides information about healthy, affordable food. The goal of these events is to keep children reading, moving and active over the summer months and to highlight the importance of access to high-quality early learning programs in providing all children a strong start on the path to readiness for school.

"The beginning years of a child's life are critical for building the foundation needed for success later in school, college and career," said Secretary Duncan. "To help all children begin kindergarten on a level playing field, the Administration is continuing to work to expand access to high-quality early learning programs. Let's Read! Let's Move! highlights the importance of investing in our nation’s youngest students and getting them off to a strong, healthy start."

The Department's Let's Read! Let's Move! series is being carried out in partnership with the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington PHD (Physical, Healthy, Driven) program. Target Corporation will provide healthy snacks, and every child will be able to select a free new book to take home, courtesy of Target and its partnership with First Book. A vegetable and fruit tasting station will be featured, courtesy of Giant Food, a partner of the YMCA.

Various administration officials and other public figures will participate in the upcoming Let's Read! Let's Move! events, scheduled for July 10, 17, 24, Aug. 1 and Aug. 6. Preschool and elementary age youngsters from a number of schools and centers in the area (listed below) will attend the July 10 event, as well as the children of Department employees.