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First Lady Unveils Effort to Get Kids Active at Least an Hour a Day

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Over on the Schooled in Sports blog, you can read all about how First Lady Michelle Obama is expanding her Let's Move! initiative, which has been working on improving families' diets and health for the last three years.

As my colleague Bryan Toporek writes, Mrs. Obama, appearing with U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan in Chicago on Thursday, unveiled her new campaign to help schools provide the federally recommended 60 minutes of daily physical activity for students. More physical activity has been associated with better academic performance, better behavior, and better attendance at school.

Through the new program, Let's Move! Active Schools, she is encouraging parents and educators to sign up on LetsMoveSchools.org to become school physical-activity champions for their communities. A six-step process on the website provides a personalized outline for how schools can increase physical activity and what resources are needed to achieve that goal.

The first lady hopes to get her new program into 50,000 schools within the next five years.

NIKE, Inc., has already committed $50 million over the next five years to help children stay active before, during, and after school. A handful of other organizations have pledged an additional $20 million toward the effort over the next half-decade.

As a part of the effort, the U.S. Department of Education's $80 million Carol M. White Physical Education Program will be retooled to prioritize schools most in need and will encourage proposals designed around evidence-based best practices, similar to the Investing in Innovation grant program.

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