Initiative Calls On Volunteers to Tackle Issues of Childhood Obesity, Learning Loss
Washington, D.C. -- Today, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) kicked off the third year of United We Serve: Let's Read. Let's Move., a summer service initiative designed to combat summer learning loss and childhood obesity through volunteer service. The program launched on serve.gov, the online home for Let's Read. Let's Move., with a video message from Wendy Spencer, CNCS CEO.
Let's Read. Let's Move. is a signature event for the agency and is inspired by the President's Call to Service and the First Lady's Let's Move! initiative. It encourages service as a means to tackle important issues: promoting physical activity among young people, increasing access to nutritious summer meals, and boosting summer reading to prevent learning loss.
“The young people of America are one of our nation's most valuable resources, but they can only reach their full potential when healthy in mind, body, and spirit,” shared Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “Let's Read. Let's Move. is an opportunity for Americans to help them achieve these goals by capitalizing on the dog days of summer and harnessing the power of community volunteers.”
Research shows that a staggering percentage of young people suffer learning-losses and acquire unhealthy eating habits during the summer break. Young people can lose more than two months of progress in reading achievement over the summer, one out of every three children in the U.S. is overweight or obese, and millions of youth go without healthy, nutritious meals over the summer months.
Let's Read. Let's Move. directly addresses these challenges and hopes to ensure that by keeping kids healthy, they will be ready to learn when the next school year begins.
Through strong partnerships across federal agencies and with nonprofits around the country, Let's Read. Let's Move. will encourage kids to read five books over the summer, a number that's been shown to minimize learning loss. The initiative will also encourage participation in the President's Active Lifestyle Award (PALA).
By promoting the location of summer food feeding sites, Let's Read. Let's Move. hopes to increase access to nutritious summer meals for the nineteen million children receiving free or reduced-price school meals during the school year.