First Lady Michelle Obama wants kids to stay active while learning as part of a new initiative called "Let's Move Active Schools."
The program, announced Thursday in Chicago, aims to bring physical activity to 50,000 U.S. schools with 60 minutes of exercise throughout the day. The program and corresponding website, LetsMoveSchools.org, provides tools to make it happen in what the first lady called a budget-crunched education system.
"This is a ground-breaking, earth-shattering, awesomely inspiring day," Obama said at McCormick Place.
Nike pledged $50 million over five years to help fund the collaboration via the first lady's "Let’s Move" campaign along with the GENYOUth Foundation, ChildObesity180, Kaiser Permanente and the General Mills Foundation, which donated $20 million.
“With each passing year, schools feel like it’s just getting harder to find the time, the money, and the will to help our kids be active," Obama said. "But just because it’s hard doesn’t mean we should stop trying – it means we should try harder."
Obama made the announcement alongside Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and NIKE, Inc. President & CEO Mark Parker at McCormick Place about physical education in schools.
The first lady's hometown visit is part of a two-day tour marking the third anniversary of her initiative to prevent child obesity and teach kids and their families how to live healthier. The first lady launched the campaign on Feb. 9, 2010.
Other familiar faces in attendance at McCormick Place were retired gymnast Dominique Dawes, 2012 Olympic gold medalists Gabby Douglas and Allyson Felix, "The Biggest Loser" trainer Bob Harper and tennis pro Serena Williams, among other star athletes.
The first lady arrived in Chicago Wednesday in advance of the event and dined at RPM Italian, at 52 W. Illinois St., for what was certainly a healthy dinner before the public appearance. She spent the night in her Kenwood neighborhood home.
She was in town earlier this month to attend the funeral of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old Chicago girl who was shot and killed at a South Side park.
Michelle Obama, in a "Let's Move" announcement at McCormick Place, urges young people and adults to make physical education a priority.
Michelle Obama, in Chicago to tout her "Let's Move" campaign, singled out teachers in Elk Grove Village for their creative ways to promote exercising in the classroom.
Michelle Obama, in a "Let's Move" announcement at McCormick Place, said studies show students allowed to play tend to concentrate better and do better academically.