Annapolis Mayor Michael Pantelides announced that the Recreation and Parks Department was recently celebrated at the White House for their efforts in the Let’s Move! City, Towns and Counties (LMCTC) initiative.
First Lady Michelle Obama and representatives from the National League of Cities, along with several federal agencies, were on hand to congratulate the participants, including Annapolis Department of Recreation and Parks Let’s Move! Coordinator Jennifer Jennings and Ward Three Alderwoman Rhonda Pindell Charles.
The First Lady announced that 500 cities, towns and counties, including Annapolis, have committed to the five goals in the LMCTC initiative since July 2012. This is a key part of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative and helps communities ensure all children grow up healthy and have the ability to reach their full potential. The National League of Cities works in partnership with Let’s Move! and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide assistance to local elected officials.
Annapolis is part of a growing national movement to build healthier communities that strive to enrich the quality of life for residents by advocating healthy living, nutrition education, and quality recreational programs. Annapolis runs several programs catering to children’s health and physical well-being. The Mighty Milers program engages 300 youth (3rd – 5th grade) from local elementary schools. Kids learn nutrition and proper running form as they build endurance. The U.S. Naval Academy Midshipmen volunteer to coach the participants and encourage them to achieve their goals.
The Teen Mindful Health and Family Wellness Programs is a six-week physical activity and nutrition programs for kids ages 10-16 and their caregivers. One-on-one personal training, Yoga, nutrition lectures, daily food logs, and grocery store tours help the participants understand the importance of exercise and nutrition.
The City of Annapolis has implemented a successful healthy vending program and is being recognized on a national level for this achievement. MyPlate and other nutritional posters are displayed throughout city offices and facilities. The City of Annapolis’s motto is, “Healthy Living Starts Here!”
At the White House event, the First Lady also recognized the 52 communities, including Annapolis, that have achieved gold medals in each of the five goal areas, which include providing healthy school meals, opportunities for physical activity during and outside of school, healthy early care and education programs.
The 500 cities, towns and counties honored at Wednesday’s event came from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. To date, approximately 80 million Americans live in a city, town or county participating in LMCTC. For more information on the achievements by LMCTC communities, visit www.healthycommunitieshealthyfuture.org/spotlights/.