U.S. Department of Education's Let's Read! Let's Move! Summer Series Continues with Celebrity Guests Phylicia Rashad and the Washington Kastles

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U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will host the second Let's Read! Let's Move! event of 2013 on Wed., July 17, at noon at the U.S. Department of Education headquarters in Washington, D.C. Joining Duncan will be Tony award-winning actress and singer Phylicia Rashad—best known for her role as Claire Huxtable on the NBC sitcom The Cosby Show—and Washington Kastles Coach Murphy Jensen.

Following the reading, members of the World Team Tennis Washington Kastles—Martina Hingis, Bobby Reynolds, Leander Paes and Anastasia Rodionova— and staff will teach kids to play tennis on four outdoor kids' tennis courts on the U.S. Department of Education building plaza. Additionally, the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington will lead students in the Let's Move! session of fun, physical activities, including the Shopping Cart Nutrition Race and Jumbo Jam Basketball. These activities are inspired by First Lady Michelle Obama's initiative to combat childhood obesity by emphasizing healthy eating and an active lifestyle.

Kofi Dennis, early childhood education specialist and performer with the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning through the Arts, will lead children in an interactive storytelling experience to kick off the event, before the Let's Read! portion.

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 that provide 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 24, Aug. 1 and Aug. 6. Preschool- and elementary-aged youngsters from a number of schools and centers in the area (listed below) will attend the July 17 event, as will the children of Department employees.