The White House Blog: The First Lady
- Posted byon October 12, 2011 at 12:11 PM EDT
Ed. Note: Cross-posted from the Let's Move! blog.
Yesterday, something special happened. People around the world joined together towards the same goal: to set a Guinness World Record® for the most people doing jumping jacks in a 24-hour period. The challenge was to have more than 20,000 people from around the world do jumping jacks for one minute.
Joined by National Geographic Kids Magazine, First Lady Michelle Obama had the chance to launch the effort to break the record from the South Lawn of the White House:
I get to do a lot of cool things, but this is really exciting. I never thought in my entire life that I would be here today to break a Guinness World Record. Woohoo! And I’m here doing it with all of you and that makes it even more fun, because the whole country -- the world is going to see just how much fun we can have not just breaking a world record but also doing some exercise, right? Because that’s one of my big things. “Let’s Move” is about kids eating healthy and moving and staying active, so you all are ready for life and for all the challenges that you’re going to face.
And what we’re going to show people today is that moving is fun, right? You can do it just dancing around in your backyard. You can get moving if you’re walking your dog. Or you can get moving doing some jumping jacks, right? There are so many ways to keep moving.
- Posted byon October 11, 2011 at 4:22 PM EDT
Last month, President Obama introduced the American Jobs Act, a plan to to put more people back to work and put more money in the pockets of working Americans, to a special joint session of Congress. Marlena Clark from Maryland watched the President's address from the First Lady's box as a guest of Dr. Jill Biden. When asked what she thought of the President's plan, Clark said, "passing the jobs bill is just common sense."
A couple years ago, Clark was working multiple minimum wage jobs, including cleaning houses, to put herself through school so she would have a chance at a brighter future. The first person in her family to go to college, she attended her local community college where she was involved in a mentoring program focused on retaining women in IT careers and had an internship at a local IT company. Now a graduate of Anne Arundel Community College (AACC), Clark is working as a full-time systems engineer at the company where she interned, supporting the sales team and customers with networking solutions.
Clark plans to continue her education and get a bachelor's degree and she knows the American Jobs Act would help her reach her goal. The Jobs Act, which will cut payroll taxes in half next year for 160 million workers, will make her goal more affordable: The typical American family will take home an additional $1,500 in 2012 if this tax cut is approved.
Clark explained why she believes it is so important to pass the American Jobs Act, "the same struggles I went through are what so many other Americans are going through...all of us are going to benefit from it. I hope they go ahead and pass this jobs bill because people need jobs now."
See how the American Jobs Act will impact others:
What do teachers think of the American Jobs Act?
Manufacturer hopes to expand and hire through the American Jobs Act.
How the American Jobs Act will help pay for education
How small business owners will be affected by the American Jobs Act
Tax savings created by the American Jobs Act
What the American Jobs Act means for high tech manufacturers
American Jobs Act creating jobs for veterans
Creating more jobs for small firms
Putting the unemployed back to work
How the American Jobs Act will impact families
- Posted byon October 11, 2011 at 10:53 AM EDT
Ed. Note: Cross-posted from the Let's Move! blog.
Something exciting is happening today on the South Lawn of the White House. In partnership with National Geographic Kids Magazine, First Lady Michelle Obama will launch a challenge to help break the Guinness World Records® title for the most people doing jumping jacks in a 24-hour period.
You can watch the jumping jacks kick-off live beginning at 2:00 p.m. EDT at WhiteHouse.gov/Live.
- Posted byon October 7, 2011 at 11:06 AM EDT
Ed. Note: Cross-posted from the Let's Move! blog.
Members of the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team and First Lady Michelle Obama took to the South Lawn yesterday afternoon for a Let's Move! soccer clinic with young players from Soccer Sisters United in Philadelphia and Prince William Courage Soccer Club in Woodbridge, Virginia. Women's National Soccer Team players Nicole Barnhart, Rachel Buehler, Lori Lindsey, Alex Morgan, Kelley O’Hara and Becky Sauerbrunn taught the kids soccer skills while highlighting the importance of physical activity, which is what Let's Move! is all about.
- Posted byon October 6, 2011 at 1:30 PM EDT
Watch First Lady Michelle Obama and Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden announce the Joining Forces Community Challenge, here.
The First Lady and I are excited to announce that the submission deadline for the Joining Forces Community Challenge has been extended to October 31, 2011.
In a previous post, we highlighted a sample of the submissions and nominations that we have already received. Since that post, we have been amazed by the flood of applications featuring people around the country that are working to support our military families. Whether as an individual, a small regional organization, or a nation-wide effort, you continue to be an inspiration to us all.
- Posted byon October 5, 2011 at 6:31 PM EDT
Today, First Lady Michelle Obama was joined by a big group of helpers for the third annual White House kitchen garden fall harvest. Students from Bancroft and Tubman Elementary Schools got their hands dirty picking produce from the garden and then had a chance to try some of the vegetables that they picked on grilled garden pizza.
White House Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford shared the recipe for grilled garden pizza:
- Posted byon October 4, 2011 at 11:48 AM EDT
Last week, First Lady Michelle Obama was in Cranston, Rhode Island to meet with military spouses at the Rhode Island Army National Guard Facility.
The First Lady and Dr. Jill Biden have been traveling across the country to talk about how neighbors, communities, and the nation as whole can support our military families as part of the Joining Forces initiative. They have seen extraordinary examples of individuals, businesses and non-profit organizations stepping up to support our Nation’s military families.
One way to support the families of our troops is to hear stories about their experiences directly from military families themselves. The roundtable conversation in Rhode Island was another opportunity for the First Lady to listen to military spouses and let them know about some of the work that is being done to give them the support they deserve such as the President's challenge to the private sector to hire or train unemployed veterans and their spouses by the end of 2013.
First Lady Michelle Obama: When You Make Life Easier for Working Parents, It’s a Win for Everyone InvolvedPosted byon September 26, 2011 at 7:28 PM EDT
First Lady Michelle Obama today spoke about the importance of supporting and retaining women and girls who choose careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and science, the so-called STEM disciplines.
“If we’re going to out-innovate and out-educate the rest of the world, then we have to open doors to everyone,” said Mrs. Obama during an event at the White House held to announce the NSF Career-Life Balance Initiative. “We need all hands on deck. And that means clearing hurdles for women and girls as they navigate careers in science, technology, engineering and math.”
First Lady Michelle Obama Celebrates the Success of Million PALA Challenge at Nickelodeon’s Worldwide Day of PlayPosted byon September 25, 2011 at 8:55 PM EDT
Yesterday, First Lady Michelle Obama joined children and families at Nickelodeon’s Worldwide Day of Play to celebrate the success of the Million PALA Challenge, a joint initiative of Let’s Move! and the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition (PCFSN).
Launched in September 2010, the Million PALA Challenge was created to motivate one million Americans to get active and earn the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA) in a year. Since the start of the challenge, more than 1.7 million Americans have gotten active and earned their PALA, far exceeding the initiative’s goal.
To celebrate this success, Mrs. Obama “turned off” Nickelodeon for three hours during Worldwide Day of Play to encourage kids to go outside and play. The First Lady made a surprise visit at the event, where she cheered kids on at the obstacle course and congratulated the 1.7 million Americans who achieved their PALA.
“I’m so proud of all the kids and families who rose to the challenge and got active this year,” said First Lady Michelle Obama, who earned her PALA last fall. “The Million PALA Challenge helped shine a spotlight on the childhood obesity epidemic and I know we can all keep up the momentum and keep moving to help our kids lead healthy, active lives.”
First Lady Michelle Obama: Joining Forces Is About Everyone Stepping Up to Give Something Meaningful BackPosted byon September 25, 2011 at 6:00 AM EDT
This op-ed from First Lady Michelle Obama was first published in the Fayetteville Observer
A few years ago, as I began to travel around the country and talk to all sorts of people, one set of stories always tugged at my heart. They took my breath away. They inspired me. And they motivated me to learn more. They were stories of strength, courage, and patriotism that define our nation’s military families. And I know that Fayetteville is filled with them.
They’re your neighbors who raise children and manage households by themselves while their loved ones are deployed. They’re military kids who have lived most of their young lives with our nation at war and Mom or Dad overseas. They’re our wounded warriors or survivors of our fallen who continue to serve their community every day. And they’re women like Barbara Marshall.
Like so many of our veterans, Barbara’s service to this country didn’t stop when her 15-year Navy career ended. Through Steps N Stages Jubilee House, she is working to combat homelessness among female veterans in the Fayetteville area. She’s doing it in an unconventional way: by welcoming these struggling women and their families into her own home.
The Marshalls – Barbara; her son, Bert; and her daughter, Maya – are perfect examples of how much our military families give to our country each and every day. And this summer, a whole busload of people stepped up to give the Marshalls something back.
For one week in the sweltering heat, local volunteers and the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition cast and crew worked around the clock to transform Barbara’s home into a beautiful, state-of-the-art dream house and resource center. I was thrilled to help out with some of the finishing touches, and I’ll never forget the look on Barbara’s face when the bus pulled away to reveal her new home.
But what I remember most was the Fayetteville community’s warm embrace of this family and our homeless veterans. I saw neighbors grabbing shovels and picking up scraps around the worksite. I saw business owners and local organizations pitching in. Even folks around the country got involved, donating logs online to help build the beautiful cabin.
Now, I know that not every community can build a home in a week, and not every veteran will end up in Disneyland or on national T.V. But I also know that the compassion I felt in Fayetteville is alive and well in every community across this country.
That’s what compelled Dr. Jill Biden and me to launch our Joining Forces initiative this spring. This is a national initiative to address the unique needs of, and expand opportunities for, our remarkable military families.
It’s about businesses, nonprofit organizations, schools, churches, and ordinary citizens doing what they can for these incredible men, women and children. It’s about Americans uniting in service around these families. And it’s about everyone – no matter where they come from or their station in life – stepping up to give something meaningful back.
With one of our nation’s biggest media companies, local organizations, and folks from all over Fayetteville pitching in, this summer’s wild week was a perfect example of what we can accomplish when we work together for these families.
So Fayetteville, I hope you sit back and enjoy the spotlight tonight on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. You deserve it. And I hope that after the show, you’ll visit us at JoiningForces.gov to find out how you can keep showing your appreciation for our military families. Together, we can serve our military families as well as they have served us.