Michelle Obama Targets Summer Learning Loss

By Mary-Ellen Phelps Deily — June 10, 2010 1 min read
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First lady Michelle Obama’s campaign to get kids exercising and eating right is well-known; this week she added summer reading to her list of healthy to-do’s for kids.

At an event in Washington to launch the “Let’s Read. Let’s Move.” initiative, Mrs. Obama and congressional leaders packed “Healthy Lifestyle Kits” that included healthy snacks and books to be distributed to more than 3,000 children. Four federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Education, are involved in the effort, as is the Corporation for National and Community Service. The idea behind “Let’s Read. Let’s Move.” is to get more volunteers working at fighting childhood obesity and summer learning loss.

“We are asking individuals and community organizations, corporations, foundations and government to come together and devote their time and energy to help our kids stay active and healthy—and to keep them learning—all summer long,” Mrs. Obama said.

The U.S. Department of Education says reading five books a summer will help kids stay on the learning track and reduce summer-learning loss. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan put it this way: “The key to stopping summer learning loss is reading. If a child reads a minimum of five books between June and August, they will be on track for success next school year. We need every child to read at least five books this summer and every adult to help.”

A version of this news article first appeared in the Beyond School blog.