On Friday during the fifth installment in the U.S. Department of Education’s “Let’s Read. Let’s Move.” summer enrichment series, Secretary Arne Duncan hosted U.S. Congressman Jim Langevin; Kareem Dale, special assistant to the President of the U.S. on disability policy; and Quinton Aaron, the actor who portrayed football star Michael Oher in the movie “The Blind Side.”
Congressman Langevin read a book called House Mouse Senate Mouse by Peter W. Barnes and engaged children in a lively discussion about how laws are made in Congress, using the example of passing a bill to establish a national cheese, which was depicted in the book. Both for the characters in the book and for the children gathered in the “Let’s Read. Let’s Move.” audience, American cheese was the winner by a landslide in the national cheese debate. Kareem Dale read the Braille version of If I Ran for President by Catherine Stier, telling the stories of two fictional children, Ben and Claire, who decide to run for the highest national office. Mr. Dale also shared what it is like to work with President Barack Obama.
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After the book readings, actor Quinton Aaron spoke to the children about his involvement with the “Quarterbacks of Life” student mentoring program, which uses real-life stories to help students, beginning in the fourth grade, to achieve success in school and in life. The mentors teach children that success is attained most often by individuals who make responsible decisions, provide support to teammates and friends, and who have dreams, high self-esteem, and a “can-do” attitude.
Children attending Friday’s “Let’s Read. Let’s Move.” program hailed from across Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia attending the Stafford Junction Summer Camp and Stafford Public Schools, Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind, the Maryland School for the Blind, Meridian Public Charter School, and the St. Patrick’s Episcopal Horizons Program. As part of the “Let’s Read. Let’s Move.” program, children received free books and healthy snacks, engaged in enrichment activities, and participated in a range of fun fitness games.
“Let’s Read. Let’s Move.” is part of the Obama Administration’s “United We Serve” initiative, a nationwide effort of the White House and the Corporation for National and Community Service that calls on all Americans to make service a part of their daily lives. The books, refreshments, games, and fitness equipment for the program have been donated by Target Corporation, which is one of the organizations answering President Obama’s call to service.
On Tuesday, August 3, the Department will host the final session in the series on its outdoor plaza with special guests U.S. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, U.S. Congressman James P. Moran, National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Rocco Landesman, Corporation for National and Community Service CEO Patrick Corvington, and musical artist Cat Power.
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