Howard honors tradition, Michelle Obama pushes health

David Goodson | 9/12/2013, 3:52 p.m.

Orr Elementary School was cited as a great example of what schools all across the country are doing to provide healthier environments for kids. Not only has Orr successfully implemented the new healthy school lunch standards, but they’ve already started providing healthier snacks in vending machines—a move all schools will make starting next school year. Orr also has physical education classes and participates in BOKS, an initiative of Reebok and the Reebok Foundation that incorporates physical activity and nutrition into programming for kids before the school day.

To the parents and educators in attendance, Obama encouraged, “We have to remember that it’s our job as responsible adults in their lives to make the hard decisions to keep them healthy. It’s our job to say, ‘No, you cannot have a candy bar for breakfast,’ and ‘Yes, you have to eat some vegetables every day,’ and ‘No, you can’t sit around playing video games all day—go outside and run.’ That’s our job. That’s on us.”

She concluded, “Kids complain about everything. Many kids complain about having to learn math or science, right? They complain about having to read a book or write a paper on a topic they don’t like. But as educators and parents, we don’t just give in and say, ‘Well, OK, no more homework, no test tomorrow. ‘You’re off the hook because you’re sad about it.’

“We wouldn’t dream of doing that, because we know that learning how to add and subtract and read and write—these things aren’t negotiable. We know that they need those skills in order to succeed in life. Well, the same thing is true for good nutrition, physical activity—because those tools are the foundation that they need to grow up healthy and to do well in school, and to build families and careers of their own one day.”

I felt guilty about that Super Big Gulp I had in the car, but I had to get back home. Sorry. I’m out. Holla next week. Until then, enjoy the nightlife.