Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and local D.C. students from Arts and Technology Academy Public Charter School joined Secretary Arne Duncan yesterday for “Let’s Read. Let’s Move.” at ED headquarters in Washington, D.C. LaHood read The Little Engine That Could to students and joined Duncan for a discussion about the book and the importance of summer learning, physical fitness and healthy eating. Following the reading and discussion, students received a free book; enjoyed healthy snacks; engaged in writing and enrichment activities; and rotated through fitness and game stations featuring jump rope, hula hoops, basketball, bowling, putting, ring toss, corn hole, duck-duck-goose, hopscotch and musical chairs.
The goal of this new program, led by the Corporation for National and Community Service, is to get more Americans volunteering to combat childhood obesity and summer learning loss among youth.
“For far too many children, reading achievement stalls when schoolwork stops over the summer,” Secretary Duncan said. “In fact, most low-income children can lose more than two months of reading skills progress during the summer break. The key to stopping summer learning loss is reading. Children who read a minimum of five books between June and August are on track for success next school year. We encourage all youngsters to take on this challenge and read at least five books over the summer months to keep their skills sharp. Parents and other adults can do a lot to keep the momentum up. We are excited to engage children in this important initiative and look forward to working with the Corporation for National Service and the rest of the Administration on Let’s Read. Let’s Move.”
Let’s Read. Let’s Move. is part of the Obama Administration’s United We Serve summer service initiative, a nationwide effort calling on all Americans to make service a part of their daily lives. As part of its role in this initiative, the U.S. Department of Education will invite Cabinet members and public officials to read books to children, promote healthy lifestyles and participate in games and fitness activities with children in pre-kindergarten through third grade. The books, refreshments, games and equipment for fitness activities have been donated by Target, which is one of the organizations answering President Obama’s call to service.