First lady announces website to help kids exercise

Imagine students learning their ABCs while dancing, or memorizing multiplication tables while doing jumping jacks: Some schools are using both methods of instruction, and First Lady Michelle Obama would like to see more of them use other creative ways to help students get their recommended hour of daily exercise, reports the Associated Press.

In Chicago on Feb. 28, the first lady was announcing a new partnership to help schools do just that. It starts with a website,, where school officials and others can sign up to get started.

Mrs. Obama said too many penny-pinched schools have either cut spending on physical education or eliminated it outright to put the money toward classroom instruction. But the first lady who starts most days with a workout—and other advocates of helping today’s largely sedentary kids move their bodies—say that’s a false choice, because studies show exercise helps youngsters focus and do well in school.…Read More

Michelle Obama sees lessons after Arizona shooting

First lady Michelle Obama urged parents across the United States on Thursday to talk to their children about the Arizona shootings and use the event to teach them a lesson about American values, Reuters reports. Mrs. Obama joined her husband, President Barack Obama, at a memorial service in Tucson on Wednesday for the victims of Saturday’s attack outside a supermarket, where a gunman killed six people and critically wounded Representative Gabrielle Giffords.

Obama said children would struggle with questions about what such an event says about the world…

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First lady: Math, science important to nation

First lady Michelle Obama told middle and high school science teams May 3 that the nation will need their skills and enthusiasm to prosper, reports the Associated Press. Mrs. Obama visited the Energy Department’s National Science Bowl and read bonus questions during the middle school championship match. “We want young people energized in the way that you all are, because we know that American brainpower in science and math has always driven this country’s prosperity,” she told the group after the two winning teams received their trophies. “We are going to need you.” She challenged the students to help build the future of medicine, clean energy, and security. Albuquerque Academy from Albuquerque, N.M., won the middle school science bowl. Earlier, first-time competitors North Carolina School for Science and Mathematics from Durham, N.C., won the high school competition. Regional science bowl winners from 105 middle and high schools traveled to Washington, D.C., for the national competition. The teams represented 42 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands…

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Health education gets a federal boost

Schools step up to the plate and take an active role in Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" initiative.
Schools are encouraged to take an active role in Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" initiative.

Roughly a third of American children are overweight, researchers say, and 17 percent are obese—a condition that increases their risk of getting diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other illnesses.

Many health experts point to the amount of “screen time” that today’s students are logging as a key contributing factor in the child obesity epidemic. Now, backed by a campaign launched by First Lady Michelle Obama earlier this year, some schools are using the same technologies that have many kids glued to their cell phones and iPods for hours at a time as useful instructional tools in their health-education programs.

To encourage students to adopt a healthier lifestyle, one recent lesson at Aaron Academy, a private special-education school in New York, had students research the nutritional content of popular food items online, then download this information to their mobile computers.…Read More

Viral eMail roils higher education once again

OSU officials squashed a widespread internet rumors that Robinson would be fired.
OSU officials are trying to squash an internet rumor that basketball coach Craig Robinson's job was saved by stimulus funding.

Have you heard the one about shady White House dealings that saved a college basketball coach’s job? The eMail rumor about Oregon State University coach Craig Robinson—President Obama’s brother-in-law—was read by millions on the web in March, serving as the latest example of how viral internet gossip can catch university officials off guard.

An eMail message charging that the Obama administration had pledged $17 million in stimulus funds to Oregon State as long as the university retained Robinson spread to web sites, blogs, and in-boxes under the subject lines “Stimulus Does Work” or “Stimulus Money…One Job Saved.” The message claimed that Robinson’s job was in danger, so the White House dispatched a Department of Education official to arrange a special stimulus award as part of an unreported quid pro quo.

The viral message stirred up so many questions that Oregon State officials had to debunk the rumor with an official statement released March 23.…Read More