First Lady Michelle Obama visits at the NFL YET Center
By Darlen Gay
Michelle Obama, The First Lady, was in South Florida to celebrate the fourth anniversary of her “Let’s Move!” Campaign.
Mrs. Obama visited the NFL YET Center at Gwen Cherry Park to announce that three additional national organizations: Partnership for a Healthier America, Boys and Girls Clubs of America and National Recreation and Park Association committed to expand her “Let’s Move!” Campaign to after school programs.
The First Lady was introduced by television Parks and Recreation star Amy Poehler. After the press conference, 53 inner city youth joined First Lady Michelle Obama in yoga, Zumba and miniature golf classes at the NFL YET Center at Gwen Cherry Park. She was accompanied by Alonzo Mourning and Extra’s Mario Lopez.
Mrs. Obama explained that as a result of these new commitments, kids will get a healthy breakfast, fruit or a veggie at every meal or snack, and water or low fat milk instead of sweetened beverages. The initiative also encourages kids to move no less than 30 minutes daily.
HT Smith, chairman of the Gwen Cherry Park Foundation, stated, “It was a special honor for First Lady Michelle Obama to visit the NFL YET Center, and directly engage our kids in yoga, active games, and a frank discussion about healthy lifestyles. The Gwen Cherry Park Foundation thanks the First Lady for helping us in our mission to build strong children.”
In four years, great strides have been made toward reducing the epidemic of childhood obesity, which was the direct result of a lack of physical activity, youth spending hours at a time in front of computers and television screens engaged in video games, all while eating unhealthy, fattening snacks and meals.
Mrs. Obama stated that as a result of the new partnerships, over 5.5 million youth nationwide will have healthier alter-natives after school.
“Kids who eat well and stay active tend to have
better grades; they have better attendance, and fewer disciplinary problems,” added Mrs. Obama. She continued by emphasizing that children don’t need to be on a sports’ team, they just need to be active.
Faces in the audience included politicians Congresswoman Fredericka Wilson, State Senator Dwight Bullard, State Representatives Cynthia A. Stafford, Sharon Pritchett, Kionne L. McGhee, Hazelle P. Rogers, and Barbara Watson. On the front row was District 2 County Commissioner Jean Monestime, whose district includes Gwen Cherry Park. Lucie Tondreau, Mayor of North Miami and Miami-Dade County Public School Superintendent Alberto Carvalho were also in attendance.