U.S. Secretary of Education To Kick Off Let's Read! Let's Move! Summer Series with a Field Trip to the National Museum of the American Indian

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U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is kicking off the first 2014 Let's Read! Let's Move! event with a field trip in his neighborhood to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) on Wednesday, July 9 at 11:30 a.m. in Washington, D.C.  Secretary Duncan will join NMAI Director Kevin Gover in celebrating the NMAI’s 10th Birthday and reading to the students along with special guests Broderick Johnson, assistant to the President and cabinet secretary; Sam Kass, executive director of Let’s Move! and senior policy advisor for nutrition policy; Wendy Spencer, chief executive officer Corporation for National and Community Service, and the Washington Kastles with Head Coach Murphy Jensen.

Before the reading session, students will engage in activities incorporating native culture and traditions including music with the Black Bear Singers and a horse dressing demonstration.  Following the reading the Washington Kastles and the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington will lead students in the Let’s Move! session of fun, physical activities—such as healthy food tasting; Jumbo Jam Basketball, Wetlands Obstacle Course; Iglu Building; 'Ulu Maika Hawaiian Bowling; Yup’ik Yo-Yo; and of course, tennis with the Washington Kastles.  The 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.

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 learning and physical activity.  The goal of these events is to keep children reading, moving and active over the summer months, as well as 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.

“Summer learning, especially hands-on experience, both inside and outside the classroom, is an important part of building the foundation needed for success later in school, college and career,” said Secretary Duncan.  “To help all children start school on a level playing field, the administration is continuing to work to expand access to high-quality early learning programs and to ensure equal educational opportunity for all students. Let's Read! Let's Move! highlights the importance of preparing students in every way possible to be successful in school, by teaching them how a healthy, active lifestyle can positively affect their ability to learn,” Secretary Arne Duncan said.

“Support of early reading not only enhances our children's future but it will also show them the high potential of knowledge,” said museum director, Kevin Gover (Pawnee). “From reading, children will be aware of our past, reinforce our present and lead us to a better future. The Let's Read! Let's Move! series is an admirable initiative for our young students.”

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.  AmeriCorps members will also support the event. 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.

Several administration officials and other public figures will participate in the upcoming Let's Read! Let's Move! events, scheduled for July 16, 23 and 30. Preschool and elementary age youngsters from a number of schools and centers in the area (listed below) will attend the July 9 event, as well as the children of U.S. Department of Education employees.

NOTE: Members of the press should check in at the media sign-in table near the security desk at the East entrance of the museum.