Michigan SCLC and DPS announce partnership in support of First Lady Michelle Obama’s ‘Let’s Move!’ campaign

Steven Wasko, Detroit Public Schools, 313-212-5636, steven.wasko@detroitk12.org
Scott Talley, Michigan SCLC at 313-590-3686, stalleyassociates@gmail.com

DETROIT/Jan. 13, 2011-The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)-Michigan Chapter and Detroit Public Schools have announced a partnership to promote First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign citywide. Michigan SCLC President Michael Grace and Detroit Public Schools Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb made the announcement.

“Let’s Move!” is a national campaign aimed at eliminating childhood obesity by promoting healthy foods in schools, helping students increase physical fitness, and supporting parents by ensuring the availability of healthy, affordable food.

“Partnerships and collaboration are key to the resurgence of Detroit and our region,” Grace said. “We were honored by the First Lady’s invitation to be an official partner in the ‘Let’s Move!’ campaign and we are excited about the opportunity to work with Detroit Public Schools to raise the awareness level of Detroit students about the need to live healthy lives.”

As part of the initiative, 50,000 DPS students in grades Pk-8 will be encouraged to sign a “Stomp Out Childhood Obesity” pledge to devote a minimum of 60 minutes daily to physical activity; drink water regularly; eat fruits and vegetables; and reduce time watching television. DPS schools and classes that participate successfully will receive incentives including tickets to sporting events and concerts at the end of the school year.

Parents will be asked to sign a pledge in support of the program. Professional athletes and entertainers will produce public service announcements throughout the school year, and DPS and the Michigan SCLC will continue promoting healthy eating and physical fitness through school and community programs.

Detroit Public Schools Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb welcomed another opportunity to showcase the district’s reforms in the national spotlight. Bobb stated that DPS followed President Obama’s lead when he signed the Healthy, Hunger Free Act in 2010 by ensuring healthy foods to decrease obesity and other health-related chronic diseases and reviewing all health-related matters affecting children’s well being. “We also employ innovative programs such as the Farm to School Program, the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, and many initiatives with collaborating universities, foundations, agencies and cooperatives,” Bobb said.

Founded in 1970, the Michigan SCLC is a non-profit organization that addresses a wide range of issues, including health and access to health care, education, financial literacy, economic empowerment, conflict resolution, voter registration and youth development. For additional information, please visit www.michigansclc.org.

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