Last Saturday, First Lady Michelle Obama announced the Communities on the Move Video challenge and invited faith-based, community, and other non-profit organizations to create inspiring videos about their efforts to reverse the trend of childhood obesity. The challenge will recognize community efforts that promote healthy lifestyles for kids by encouraging nutritious eating through USDA’s MyPlate icon, increasing physical activity, and/or ensuring access to healthy, affordable foods.
“America’s faith communities play a crucial role in guiding and strengthening not only our spiritual health, but our emotional and physical health as well,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “Over the past two years, I’ve been inspired by all of the faith leaders and congregations who have taken action to get active and eat healthier, and so we’re launching our Let’s Move! video contest to highlight some of the best examples. I know there’s so much incredible work being done – and I can’t wait to hear some of these stories first-hand at the White House.”
The video challenge is an opportunity share your community’s story or to inspire your community to begin writing one. The challenge will recognize organizations empowering families, congregations, and communities to make better choices to improve the health of our nation’s children. Winners will be invited to Washington, D.C. for a Let’s Move! event where they will have a special opportunity to showcase their video. To help you get started, we’ve put together a MyPlate Community Toolkit in the Resources section of the video challenge that has simple messages you can communicate to energize your community and organize others to join you. It’s also filled with stories of how people across the country have been moving towards a healthier future.
For example, despite significant challenges including high rates of childhood obesity and asthma, Mt. Carmel-Holy Rosary School is teaching students about healthy eating through MyPlate. Under the instruction of a registered dietitian, Mt. Carmel-Holy Rosary has turned in-class nutrition lessons into a school musical! Just a few years ago, this small Catholic school in East Harlem nearly closed due to declining enrollment and inadequate funding, but principal Suzanne Kaszynski led a community-wide effort to revitalize the school by recruiting high caliber teachers, developing a plethora of enrichment programs, and creating a positive, family-oriented school culture. The school staged a compelling comeback and is now an exemplary educational institution championing school wellness in exciting, innovative ways.
Make sure to check out more Let’s Move Faith and Communities success stories for how for more ideas on getting active, healthy eating, and making healthy food affordable and accessible to your community. The Communities on the Move video challenge is a part of Let’s Move Faith and Communities, launched by First Lady Michelle Obama to engage faith-based and community organizations in Let’s Move! to raise a healthier generation of kids. As trusted community leaders, faith and neighborhood organizations are well positioned to initiate and coordinate activities that encourage healthy living. To sign up for our network of supporters, visit us online.