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Michelle Obama

First lady Michelle Obama, center, is joined by, from left, Allyson Felix, Washington, D.C., Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson, North America Reebok President Uli Becker and Shaquille O’Neal, during a visit to Orr Elementary in Washington, Friday, Sept. 6, 2013, for a back to school event highlighting healthy changes in schools and across the country.

First Lady Michelle Obama was joined by celebrated sports figures in Washington Friday morning in an event, sponsored by sports apparel company Reebok, to focus on health-related changes happening in schools across the country. The visit took place at Orr Elementary in the city’s southeast section as part of the “Let’s Move! Active Schools” fitness campaign.

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Mrs. Obama was flanked by retired NBA center Shaquille O’Neal, track and field star Allyson Felix, gymnastics legend Dominique Dawes, and North American Reebok President Uli Becker. D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson also joined the First Lady at the event.

Mrs. Obama, who is slated to release a hip-hop and fitness-themed album for children, is urging schools nationwide to sign up for the “Let’s Move Active Schools” initiative, which aims to get schools to encourage physical activity 60 minutes per day before, during, and even after school.

Chancellor Henderson said 111 D.C. schools have signed up, and Becker announced that the BOKS – a fitness and nutrition initiative – will award 500 schools with $1,000 grants to bring the programs to their respective schools.

Mrs. Obama made an announcement over the school’s loudspeaker system before joining the athletes in the school’s multipurpose room following questions and fun activities.

Mrs. Obama at Orr Elementary:

Right now, we’re truly at a pivotal moment – a tipping point when the message is just beginning to break through, when new habits are just beginning to take hold, and we’re seeing the very first glimmer of the kind of transformational change that we’re capable of making in this country. And if we keep pushing forward, we have the potential to transform the health of an entire generation of young people.

Chancellor Henderson echoed Mrs. Obama’s remarks, saying that the D.C. Public School system was proud to be among the first in the nation to join the fitness initiative. Thus far, 4,000 schools have signed up for the “Let’s Move! Active Schools” program.

Also announced today is that NIKE, Inc. and other entities have joined to pledge $50 million to get 50,000 schools to sign up over the next five years.

Learn more about Let’s Move! Active Schools here.

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