MKTG INC Helps Get America Moving

letsmove_tylercurtis_032Photo Credit: Tyler Curtis

The rate of childhood obesity has tripled over the past three decades and we’ve reached a point in America where 1 in 3 children are obese. Ignored, the problem will result in 1 in 3 children suffering from diabetes at some point in their life. Recess has moved from a daily highlight into a distant memory.

Fortunately for the future of our children, leaders from America’s public and private sectors have taken notice and are taking action. The First Lady, Michelle Obama, has rallied a number of organizations including Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) and Nike, to create a groundbreaking program, Let’s Move! Active Schools. The program provides schools across the country with the resources to offer a healthy environment for kids to be active. On February 28, the First Lady returned to Chicago to launch the campaign.

Utilizing every inch of McCormick Place, America’s 2nd largest convention center, the WH, in cooperation with the Mayor’s office, put the invite out. And the Chicago Public School district accepted in record numbers. Almost 6,000 students and 700 chaperones showed up for the monumental event, not to mention the 150+ media members. Students arrived early, spending their time learning a choreographed workout-dance  and created a mural for Mrs. Obama with drawings of their favorite activities and pledges on how they would stay healthy. All of this happened while they awaited appearances from a variety of Special guests. Little did they know, this was just the beginning. They weren’t just going to see a show. They were going to be in the show.

While the kids danced and drew – unbeknownst to the press – on the other side of the air wall the First Lady and Nike CEO, Mark Parker, addressed the media. Olympic Sprinter Allyson Felix served as emcee as Mrs. Obama, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Rahm Emmanuel spoke on the issue at hand. With the touch of the button, the curtain behind them disappeared letting loose a stream of kids. They poured in front of the stage, engulfed the media and cameras, and created a backdrop that will not soon be forgotten.

The first scream was Bieber-Fever-esque as a bevvy of athletes flooded the stage to demonstrate how, and why, its so important to stay active. Bo Jackson began, followed by the likes of Dominique Dawes, Colin Kaepernick, Bob Harper (The Biggest Loser), Serena Williams, Gabby Douglas, Paul Rodriguez, Ashton Eaton and Sarah Reinertsen. Then, Mrs. Obama came dancing onto the stage and the reaction from the kids was one of unbelievable excitement. After a passionate message of encouragement and inspiration, everyone got moving and the dancing ensued. At the conclusion the kids were surprised with a performance by Jordin Sparks as the finale.

There were smiles all around. Some if the success was immediate. Part of the success will come five years from now when 50,000 schools nationwide have recess again thanks to LMAS. But true success will be a healthy outlook for this generation, a future unimaginable without this unique partnership.

Written by: Pete Cohen

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