June, 2010First Lady Michelle Obama, four Cabinet Secretaries, and representatives from First Book and the Corporation for National and Community Service gathered today to launch United We Serve: Let's Read. Let's Move. The new initiative will get more Americans volunteering to combat childhood obesity and summer learning loss among youth.
At today's launch event, the First Lady and Congressional leaders packed Healthy Lifestyle Kits as part of the initiative that included activity equipment, healthy snacks, and new books donated by Random House Children's Book and Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing. The kits will be distributed to more than 3,000 young people.
First Book (www.firstbook.org) is a national nonprofit organization that has provided more than 70 million new books to children from low-income families. In joining forces with the Let's Read. Let's Move. Initiative, First Book is supporting an Administration-wide effort to expand opportunities to engage young people in summer reading and physical activities as well as provide access to healthy, affordable food. Kyle Zimmer, President and CEO of First Book, said, "First Book is thrilled to support the First Lady and her efforts to encourage reading and exercise during the summer and we couldn't be more grateful to our friends at Random House and Simon & Schuster for providing such wonderful books to this initiative. Heroic partners like these make our impact so much more powerful; I know these books will get kids reading - and moving - all summer long."
Paul Crichton of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing said, "We at Simon & Schuster are enormous supporters of First Book, and the opportunity to continue our work with them along with the First Lady's mission is such a wonderful opportunity. We are simply thrilled to be part of the launch of United We Serve: Let's Read. Let's Move."
Books distributed today by the First Lady and others included The Busy Body Book: A Kid's Guide To Fitness (Random House) by Lizzy Rockwell, Maggie Bean Stays Afloat (Simon & Schuster) by Tricia Rayburn, Monsters Don't Eat Broccoli (Random House) by Barbara Jean Hicks, Oh The Things You Can Do That Are Good For You: All About Staying Healthy (Random House) by Tish Rabe, and Stretch (Simon & Schuster) by Doreen Cronin.
Research shows that a staggering percentage of young people suffer learning-loss and acquire unhealthy eating habits during the summer break. Young people can lose 1 ½ years of reading achievement over the summer, 1 out of 3 children in the U.S. are overweight or obese, and millions of youth go without healthy, nutritious meals over the summer months. Let's Read. Let's Move. makes it easy for Americans to help youth build strong minds and bodies through summer reading, exercise, and eating healthy foods--all of which are contributing factors to achieving success in school.
About the First Lady
Nearly a year ago, the First Lady began a national conversation with America's children about proper nutrition and the role food plays in living a healthy life. That discussion grew into the Let's Move! campaign. The campaign will combat the epidemic of childhood obesity through a comprehensive approach that builds on effective strategies, and mobilizes public and private sector resources.
About First Book
First Book (www.firstbook.org) provides new books to children in need, addressing one of the most important factors affecting literacy -- access to books. An innovative leader in social enterprise, First Book has distributed more than 70 million free and low-cost books in thousands of communities. For additional books focused on healthy eating and exercise please visit the First Book Marketplace (www.fbmarketplace.org).
About Random House Children's Books
Random House Children's Books is the world's largest English-language children's trade book publisher. Creating books for toddlers through young adult readers, in all formats from board books to activity books to picture books and novels, the imprints of Random House Children's Books bring together award-winning authors and illustrators, world-famous franchise characters, and multimillion-copy series. The company's website, kids@random (www.randomhouse.com/kids) offers an array of activities, games and educational resources for children, teens, parents, and educators. Random House Children's Books is a division of Random House, Inc., whose parent company is Bertelsmann AG, a leading international media company.
About Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster, a part of CBS Corporation, is a global leader in the field of general interest publishing, dedicated to providing the best in fiction and nonfiction for consumers of all ages, across all printed, electronic, and audio formats. Its divisions include Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing, Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, Simon & Schuster Audio, Simon & Schuster Digital, and international companies in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit our website at www.simonandschuster.com.