On the first anniversary of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative, Girl Scouts and Kraft Foods demonstrated how corporate and community partnerships are helping achieve the Let’s Move! goal of ending childhood obesity within a generation. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, Kraft Foods’ President of Global Health and Wellness and Sustainability, Rhonda Jordan, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, Kathy Cloninger, CEO of Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital, Lidia Soto-Harmon and hundreds of Girl Scouts joined together to demonstrate how today’s girls are making healthy choices and incorporating physical activity into their daily lives. The town hall event took place at Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Thursday, February 10, 2011 at 5:30 p.m. EST and linked via satellite Girl Scouts in Chicago, Atlanta, and Los Angeles with Washington, D.C.
“First Lady Michelle Obama and her Let’s Move! campaign seek to put children on the path to a healthy future starting with their earliest months and years by giving parents the information they need to make healthy choices for their families. I am proud to be her partner in this effort. By eating right and getting the right amount of exercise, young girls can be an example to their friends, siblings, and even their parents to live healthier lives. With great partners like the Girl Scouts of the USA and Kraft Foods I know that we can ensure a bright and healthy future for our children” said Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services.
As part of its participation in Let’s Move!, Girl Scouts is challenging its 2.3 million girl members to take the lead and make healthy food choices and exercise a part of their daily activities. At the Town Hall, Girls exchanged ideas on how to encourage their families and peers to become healthier with the nation’s leading health authority, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Girl Scouts in Chicago, with Chef Robin Ross in the Kraft Kitchens, demonstrated how to prepare nutritious after-school snacks, while girls in DC created a hydroponic garden and took a Zumba class. Girls in Atlanta and Los Angeles also participated in the Town Hall via webcast, asking questions and sharing ideas on healthy living.
“Encouraging girls to lead happy, healthy, active lives has always been an important part of Girl Scouting. We are thrilled to be partnering with First Lady Obama, Secretary Sebelius, and our friends at Kraft Foods on Let’s Move!,” said Kathy Cloninger, CEO, Girl Scouts of the USA.
“Healthy eating and physical activity habits that girls learn at an early age can last a lifetime,” said Rhonda Jordan, President, Global Health and Wellness and Sustainability, Kraft Foods. “As the nation’s largest food company, we know we have a role to play in helping people make good choices, whether it’s providing nutritious food options or offering healthy recipes. We’re delighted to stand here today with the Girl Scouts and US Secretary Sebelius to encourage young women to start with the small steps that can lead to a healthy future.”
Girl Scout Senior Serena Patel, a student at Quince Orchard High School in Gaithersburg, MD., earned her Gold Award helping women at a local center understand nutrition information to prepare healthier meals for their families. Patel, who plans to explore a career in public health said, “It was easy to get mothers interested when I showed them how good nutrition can help their children become more alert and better students in the classroom.”
Serena’s story is only one example of how Girl Scouts is building the next generation of female leaders who are tackling the challenging issues of the day. Through the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, and new programs including It’s Your Story – Tell It!, girls enjoy experiences, opportunities and activities that promote skills building and responsibility, and also promote the development of strong leadership and decision-making skills.