Michelle Obama launches school exercise program

10:42 PM, Feb 28, 2013   |    comments
First lady Michelle Obama speaks about a school exercise program February 28, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. Obama unveiled a new initiative called 'Let's Move Active Schools' to help schools create a physical activity programs for students. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
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By David Jackson, USA TODAY

First lady Michelle Obama unveiled a school exercise project Thursday, pledging more than $100 million in public and private money to help schools develop physical activity programs for their students.

"With each passing year, schools feel like it's just getting harder to find the time, the money and the will to help our kids be active," she said. "But just because it's hard doesn't mean we should stop trying - it means we should try harder."

The first lady's office provided details of the program:

"Funding and other resources for Let's Move! Active Schools are being kick-started by NIKE Inc., the GENYOUth Foundation, ChildObesity180, Kaiser Permanente and the General Mills Foundation, the inaugural sponsor of the Presidential Youth Fitness Program.

"Over the next five years, NIKE Inc. will invest $50 million in the U.S. to increase the physical activity of kids in schools and communities as well as target advocacy efforts to inspire kids and draw additional resources to this important effort. Collectively, the other groups are committing over $20 million to help America's schools engage all students in quality physical activity.

"In addition, the U.S. Department of Education will continue to support both physical and nutrition education in schools by realigning its $80 million Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP) to prioritize schools most in need and support applicants with plans to maximize their reach by building cost effective, sustainable programs."

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