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Strong Minds

The United We Serve: Let's Read. Let's Move team is thrilled to partner with Up2Us this summer. Last week, Up2Us volunteers helped deliver 10,000 books to 90 youth teams nationwide.

When a youth sports coach says ‘run’, kids run. That’s because kids respect and listen to their coaches. That led us to a simple idea: when a coach says read, youth will do just that this summer.

Research has repeatedly shown that during the summer months a child can lose 2-3 months of progress in reading achievement if he or she does not read. At the same time, one in three youth is overweight or obese. Summer camps and after-school programs that emphasize physical activity, teach youth to choose healthier snacks and encourage summer reading can play a significant role in reversing the childhood obesity epidemic and the academic summer slide.

That’s why Up2Us, a coalition of sports and youth development organizations, teamed up with Half Price Books, a national family-owned new and used bookseller, to sort, pack and ship 10,000 books to 90 youth sports teams around the country—youth sports teams whose coaches emphasize the importance of literacy, healthy choices and physical activity. Half Price Books Executive Vice President Kathy Doyle Thomas shed some light on the connection between sports and reading. “Half Price Books sees the importance of kids exercising both their minds and bodies,” Doyle says.

Last Thursday morning volunteers gathered at the Half Price Books warehouse in Dallas to sort, pack and ship these 10,000 books. Volunteers first heard from Melinda Sartor, a twelve year old member of the Empower ME Youth Advisory Committee who spoke about the importance of living a healthy lifestyle and Jeff Kelly, a retired Atlanta Falcons football player dedicated to giving back to the community.

This effort by Up2Us and Half Price Books is a direct response to Michelle Obama’s call to Americans to do their part to inspire our youth to be physically active, eat healthy and read. Thanks to Half Price Books, Up2Us and a powerful message from the First Lady, many more children will hit the books this summer.

Let's Read and Let's Move together!

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