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D.C. Public Schools Join 'Let's Move! Active Schools' Initiative

The District of Columbia public school system has become the first U.S. district to fully commit to first lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move! Active Schools" program, Chancellor Kaya Henderson announced Friday.

The active schools initiative, launched back in February, aims to help schools provide at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day for students, whether before, during, or after school. The first lady hopes to get her new program into at least 50,000 schools within the next five years.

She's off to a good start: 3,800 schools have already signed onto the program, she announced, according to the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance.

Well and Good

But the big news of the day, announced by Henderson at D.C.'s Orr Elementary School, was that all 111 D.C. public schools have agreed to participate in the Let's Move! Active Schools program.

"We know physical activity before, during and after school keeps students engaged and motivated and improves students' attendance, behavior and academic outcomes," said Henderson. "Providing opportunities to keep students active and healthy, coupled with strong academics and great teachers, is key to our success. At DCPS, we are proud to be among the first in the nation to have all our schools join part of the First Lady's Lets Move! Active Schools initiatives. And we are excited about how this new program will help our students achieve at the highest levels."

Henderson and Mrs. Obama were joined by Olympic gold medalists Allyson Fenix and Dominique Dawes, and NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal for the announcement. Below, I've gathered some tweets from the event.

"Right now, we're truly at a pivotal moment—a tipping point when the message is just starting to break through, when new habits are just beginning to take hold, and we're seeing the very first glimmer of the kind of transformational change that we're capable of making in this country," Mrs. Obama said at the event. "And if we keep pushing forward, we have the potential to transform the health of an entire generation of young people."

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