Read all posts from February 2014
February 28, 2014
07:47 PM EDT
This week, the White House hosted its first-ever film festival. The President and Vice President showed us how they move, and the VP gave Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers some gifts. Check out what you missed in this week's wrap up.
Students and celebrities walked the White House red carpet earlier today as they entered the first-ever White House Film Festival.
Kal Penn, Bill Nye, and Neil deGrasse Tyson were on hand to showcase the 16 Official Selections, chosen from over 2,500 submissions -- all celebrating the role of technology in the classroom. As you can see, a Presidential selfie was in order.
David HudsonFebruary 28, 2014
07:36 PM EDT
Back in November, we asked K-12 students across the country to create short films on the role that technology plays in their classrooms. We asked them to tell us why technology is so important, and how it will change the educational experience for kids in the future.
And they responded with nearly 3,000 films.
Today, in collaboration with the American Film Institute, we hosted more than a dozen of the young filmmakers at the first-ever White House Student Film Festival, where we presented our 16 official selections. Special guests included Kal Penn, Bill Nye, and Neil deGrasse Tyson, along with Conan O’Brien who addressed the students by video.
David HudsonFebruary 28, 2014
07:34 PM EDT
This afternoon, the President delivered a statement on the ongoing situation in Ukraine.
The United States has been clear that the Ukrainian people deserve the opportunity to determine their own future and that we stand for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and democratic future of Ukraine. Today, the President reiterated those principles and stated that the United States will “continue to coordinate closely with our European allies, ... communicate directly with the Russian government, and ... keep all of you in the press corps and the American people informed as events develop."
Lindsay HolstFebruary 28, 2014
04:59 PM EDT
In September 2009, the President announced that—for the first time in history—White House visitor records would be made available to the public on an ongoing basis. Today, the White House releases visitor records that were generated in November 2013. Today’s release also includes visitor records generated prior to September 16, 2009 that were requested by members of the public in January 2014 pursuant to the White House voluntary disclosure policy. This release brings the total number of records made public by this White House to over 3.47 million—all of which can be viewed in our Disclosures section.
Ezra MechaberFebruary 28, 2014
02:50 PM EDT
In this edition of Being Biden, Vice President Joe Biden talks about meeting with Jonathan Stoklosa -- a powerlifter who's competed in the Special Olympics and, in the words of the Vice President, "an incredible young man."
February 28, 2014
11:30 AM EDT
This week, First Lady Michelle Obama visited a local child care center to highlight the progress of Let’s Move! Child Care and recognize a new child care provider signing on to support the program. Since launching in 2011, over 12,000 providers have committed to fostering healthy environments and instilling healthy habits among our nation’s preschoolers that will last a lifetime. Through Let’s Move! Child Care, providers are increasing physical activity, limiting screen time, serving healthier food and beverages, and supporting breastfeeding mothers. More than 1 million children are being reached by early childhood education networks that have committed to Let’s Move! Child Care.
Secretary Arne DuncanFebruary 28, 2014
08:21 AM EDT
The very best person to talk to about how modern technology is changing our classrooms isn't me, or even the President.
It's a student who is actually learning from those tools every day -- accessing school assignments online, watching online video lessons to learn a new concept, or even talking directly with other students around the world with new technology.
That's why, a few months ago, the White House challenged students all across the country to create short films answering a simple question:
Why is technology so important in the classroom -- and how will it change the educational experience for kids in the future?
The response was overwhelming. And today, the 16 official selections are going to be screened at the first-ever White House Student Film Festival.
Adam GarberFebruary 28, 2014
12:00 AM EDT
This week, the President announced two new manufacturing hubs, and his "My Brother's Keeper" initiative, toured a new light rail system in St. Paul, Minnesota, and spoke on the importance of supporting American infrastructure jobs. The First Lady celebrated the fourth anniversary of her "Let's Move" Initiative with both Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler, while the Vice President kicked off the inaugural episode of Late Night with Seth Meyers.
Elyse CohenFebruary 27, 2014
11:40 PM EDT
Last week, the First Lady kicked off the celebration of the fourth anniversary of Let’s Move! on the “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” To demonstrate the national scope of all the great work happening around the country, the First Lady encouraged people of all ages to show her how they move through eating more fruits and vegetables, getting physically active, or making healthy changes like planting a community garden. She asked you to Facebook it, Tweet it, and Instagram it using #LetsMove and she told viewers that if enough people participated, the President and the Vice President would show us their moves.
From kids and families, to schools, organizations, celebrities, athletes, businesses, and other leaders, we’ve seen such an incredible response to this call to action. We are truly inspired by everyone, and thanks to all of you, we are moving our country to a healthier, new norm.
And now the moment we’ve all been waiting for – the President and the Vice President show us how they move:
David HudsonFebruary 27, 2014
07:32 PM EDT
This afternoon, in the East Room of the White House, President Obama delivered remarks at the launch event for My Brother's Keeper -- his new initiative aimed at helping young men and boys of color facing tough odds reach their full potential. The initiative will bring together private philanthropies, businesses, governors, mayors, faith leaders, and nonprofit organizations that are committed to helping them succeed.
As the President said in today's remarks, ensuring that young men of color can reach their full potential is the only way "America can reach its full potential."
President Obama announced that philanthropies and corporate leaders have pledged to invest at least $200 million over the next five years -- on top of $150 million that they have already invested -- to figure out which programs are the most successful in helping young men of color and replicate them in communities across the country. He also signed a presidential memorandum directing the federal government to determine the best methods to improve the odds for young men of color.
February 27, 2014
05:06 PM EDT
This morning at the White House, the celebration of Let’s Move!’s fourth anniversary continued with another announcement demonstrating how the country is moving toward a healthier new norm. As part of continued efforts to ensure that parents have the information they need to make healthier choices, the First Lady was joined by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Margaret Hamburg to announce proposed updates to the Nutrition Facts label, which is on over 700,000 products that you find in your local grocery store.
February 27, 2014
10:26 AM EDT
Today, from the East Room of the White House, President Obama will launch a new effort aimed at empowering boys and young men of color, a segment of our society which too often faces disproportionate challenges and obstacles to success. These obstacles are found in our schools, our communities, our criminal justice system, our families, and even in the minds of our young people themselves. The President is committed to build a broad coalition of backers to help break down barriers, clear pathways to opportunity, and reverse troubling trends which show too many of our boys and young men of color slipping through the cracks in our society.
To launch the “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative, the President will be joined by local and national leaders in philanthropy, business, government, faith communities, and media. The challenges facing boys and young men of color are broad and multidimensional, and so must be the team we bring to the table to begin fostering solutions.
On hand today will be General Colin Powell, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Adam Silver, Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Congressman Ruben Hinojosa, Magic Johnson, and many more leaders from key national and regional philanthropic foundations and major businesses, all of whom understand what is at stake with this effort. When we let this many boys and young men fall behind – we are crippling our ability to reach our full potential as a nation.
David HudsonFebruary 26, 2014
06:11 PM EDT
This afternoon, the President traveled to St. Paul, Minnesota to unveil a new plan to upgrade America's transportation infrastructure and put people back to work.
Speaking at St. Paul's historic Union Depot train station, President Obama announced that the Department of Transportation is making available $600 million in Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants, a tremendously successful program investing in our nation's infrastructure. These new grants mark the sixth round of the TIGER program, which has already invested $3.5 billion in 270 transportation projects across the country.
The President explained that "one of the fastest and best ways to create good jobs is by rebuilding America’s infrastructure -- our roads, our bridges, our rails, our ports, our airports, our schools, our power grids. We’ve got a lot of work to do out there, and we’ve got to put folks to work."
February 26, 2014
05:26 PM EDT
Crime doesn’t pay when it comes to defrauding Medicare or Medicaid. But our crime-fighting efforts do.
Over these past three years, every dollar we’ve invested to fight fraud and abuse has returned $8.10 to the American taxpayer. We recovered a record-breaking $4.3 billion last year and $19.2 billion over the last five years.
Today, we released a joint HHS-Justice Department report that tells more of this story. Click here to read it.
February 26, 2014
05:11 PM EDT
Continuing the celebration of the fourth anniversary of Let’s Move!, the First Lady traveled to Miami to visit a parks and recreation center to highlight a new announcement around healthy out-of-school time programs. In a commitment to the Partnership for a Healthier America, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America will work to create healthy environments for their out-of-school time programs.
Secretary Ernest MonizFebruary 26, 2014
11:10 AM EDT
During his recent State of the Union address, President Obama reiterated the importance of American energy: “One of the biggest factors in bringing more jobs back is our commitment to American energy. The all-of-the-above energy strategy I announced a few years ago is working, and today, America is closer to energy independence than we’ve been in decades.”
In the month since the President’s speech, I’ve been traveling across the country to highlight the Administration’s efforts to promote production of domestic energy, create jobs and opportunities for American families, and address the serious issues posed by climate change. The President’s all-of-the-above energy strategy is a path to progress on all three points.
Four weeks ago, I was in Virginia to talk about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and job creation in the energy field. I visited Hampton University, a historically black university that has evolved into an impressive research university -- partly by drawing on collaboration with nearby Energy Department and NASA facilities. While there, I was able to announce that Hampton’s President, Bill Harvey, has become an Ambassador for the Energy Department’s Minorities in Energy program.
February 26, 2014
09:25 AM EDT
As part of the fourth anniversary celebration of Let’s Move!, First Lady Michelle Obama highlighted the transformational changes happening in schools across the country – from school breakfast and lunch, to snacks and physical activity. Since launching Let’s Move!, the First Lady has been dedicated to ensuring that the school environment is one that supports that health of all its students.
Adam GarberFebruary 25, 2014
06:20 PM EDT
Earlier this month, President Obama made his first movie on a trip to Buck Lodge Middle School in Adelphi Maryland. And on Friday, although we’re not showing the President’s movie, we might be showing yours.
On Friday, February 28, the White House is hosting the first-ever Student Film Festival, featuring the work of more than a dozen young filmmakers who created short films celebrating the role of technology in the classroom.
The Filmmaker-in-Chief was at Buck Lodge to celebrate progress on ConnectED, an ambitious project to connect 99% of American students to next-generation broadband and wireless technology within five years. In Adelphi, he announced that some of America’s largest companies answered the President’s call to action towards that goal by pledging more than $750 million in commitments to deliver cutting-edge technologies to classrooms, including devices, free software, teacher professional development, and home wireless connectivity.
Megan SlackFebruary 25, 2014
05:11 PM EDT
Today President Obama announced two new public-private manufacturing innovation institutes – one in Chicago and one in the Detroit area -- as well as a competition for the first of four additional institutes that will will boost advanced manufacturing in the United States and attract the types of high-quality jobs that a growing middle class requires.
"For generations of Americans, manufacturing was the ticket to a good, middle-class life. The stuff we made – like steel and cars and planes – is what made America what it is," President Obama said. "But advances in technology allowed manufacturers to do more with less, and global competition meant a lot of good manufacturing jobs went overseas."
February 24, 2014
06:31 PM EDT
Over and over again, we’re faced with the challenge of how to get kids to eat healthy foods and stay active, so who better to hear from than the kids themselves?
In celebration of the fourth anniversary of Let’s Move!, the First Lady and Will Ferrell hosted a Let’s Move! “focus group” with young kids to ask them about eating healthy and being active. Here’s what they had to say: