Monday, June 14, 2010

Obama's Next Task: Reading and Childhood Obesity

First Lady Michelle Obama launched the "Let's Move, Let's Read" program to encourage children to exercise, eat healthy, and read during the summer vacation. It is part of her national campaign against childhood obesity and reading loss. She wants children to read at least five books during the months they are not in school.

However, there are several flaws to her plan because it does not address funding for public libraries in high-poverty areas which are disproportionately urban and rural. Most school children will rent books from their local libraries, yet state governments nationwide continue to cut funding towards public libraries. During this economic recession, more people are flocking to public libraries than ever for educational, employment, and recreational purposes. The first lady should advocate for public libraries if she wants her campaign to be successful.

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