Moving and Reading with Stars at Let’s Read! Let’s Move!

Secretary Duncan, LeVar Burton and Miss America 2012 Laura Kaeppeler reading to students.

Secretary Duncan, LeVar Burton and Miss America 2012 Laura Kaeppeler read to students for Let's Read! Let's Move! Official Department of Education photo by Leslie Williams.

After all the excitement of yesterday’s Let’s Read! Let’s Move! event, six-year-old Jorge exclaimed “I got to play basketball!” when quizzed about his favorite portion of the day’s activities. Yesterday’s event was the second in ED’s Let’s Read! Let’s Move! summer series, and many children like Jorge were eager to share their favorite parts of the event.

Jasmine and Analise, 9-year-old cousins from Thomas Stone Elementary, described how excited they were to read their brand new editions of Pippi Longstocking. A group of boys from Horizon’s Greater Washington excitedly shouted out that they learned how to grow stronger, to drink water, to read books, and to exercise.

Over 150 students from the DC area participated in the activities led by Secretary Arne Duncan, two-time Pro Bowl linebacker LaVar Arrington, Miss America 2012 Laura Kaeppeler, and Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton. The children danced and played Simon Says, sang along with Miss America on “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” and laughed as Burton read the poem “Peanut Butter Sandwich” by Shel Silverstein. Burton surprised the students when he claimed that he usually reads four different books at once. “I love science fiction,” he told them.

Click here for an alternate version of the video with an accessible player.

“Through encouragement at school, from my family, my mom and dad, that’s how my love for reading began,” said Kaeppeler, who read Ladybug Girl and Bingo by David Soman and Jacky Davis, before heading outside to play basketball and pass out fruit and water to the children. The students were also able to take pictures with Arrington, who was happy to have the chance to play basketball with the kids. “Stuff like this, it’s just awesome,” he remarked between photos.

Before leaving, students visited the autograph table where they were thrilled to not only get a new book but also have it signed by Arrington and Kaeppeler. “My first favorite part was getting the new book bag, and my second favorite part was reading and getting the autograph,” said Thin Wut Yi, age 7.

The students weren’t the only ones pleased with all of the activities. “This was wonderful, even with the heat,” said Thomas Stone Elementary School principal Helda Morad. “We’re very thankful.”

Each child left with a new book bag and books provided by Target, snacks, an autographed book, and a smile.

The first Let’s Read! Let’s Move! event was held on July 11th, and two more are scheduled for July 25th and July 30th. The four events support First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign, which promotes healthy eating and an active lifestyle, while also encouraging summer reading and adults reading to children.

Cydney Adams is a student at the University of Georgia and an intern in ED’s Office of Communications and Outreach.


  1. In reading this blog the formal politics of America has become a greater interest to me.

    First Lady Michelle Obama has put reality back into politics with her “LET’S MOVE CAMPAIGN which promote healty eating, an active lifestyle, encouraging summer reading, and adults participation in reading activities in your community.

    In recent months I have began to take the formal challenge of securing a Graduate degree. This types of activities are so needed in our communities; however sponsors such as Target, Walmart, & Lowes offer a competitive base entry. I hope to secure opportunity to learn more to share with educational institutions in my area. The demand of getting our own signature mark on the doors is the challenge. In this instance reading is the protocal. I commend the Washington D.C. are which are faved with the same issues as other muncipals, local and states in our esteemed Nation.

    We all must allow legislation both state & national to encompass our visions th Move in the direction of success for both adults guiding the vision, and children leading the vision in our community.

    Joseph C. PRIMOUS

  2. Iam an english teacher in Puerto Rico but we the teachers are lacking of materials like technology equipment to give a better class to our students.

  3. If a school district or community based organization wanted to organize a Let’s Read Let’s Move event, what kind of assistance or resources could be provided?

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