September 30, 2015
Let's Move! Museums and Gardens is a component of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative to raise a healthier generation of kids. Through exhibits, programs, and healthy food service, museums and gardens in all fifty states are taking action to provide fun opportunities for fitness and learning. Visits to museums and gardens are high-impact learning opportunities with the power to make a difference in children's lives and their futures. Click here for a list of participating institutions.

IMLS Awards $298,740 in Grants Related to Let's Move!

The Institute of Museum and Library Services recently announced its grants to support museums across the U.S. These grants will inspire museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Among the recipients of these awards are participants in Let's Move! Museums and Gardens. Their projects have Let's Move!-related themes that focus on healthy eating and physical activity such as the "Designed to Move" project from the Madison Children's Museum. The project will model a creative approach to behavioral change encouraging increased physical activity by redesigning stairwells in its historic building and by producing related programming to counteract decreased activity and a rise in obesity among Wisconsin children.

Let's Move! Museums and Gardens grant recipients include:

The Madison Children's Museum - Madison, WI

The Children's Museum of Manhattan - Manhattan,   NY

IMLS museum grants support a wide variety of projects, including exhibits; onsite and offsite arts and education programming; projects to digitize collections; partnerships to reach underserved neighborhoods and to address community needs; projects for people with disabilities and underserved populations; conservation of threatened or fragile collections, including living collections in zoos and botanical gardens; creative physical spaces for hands-on learning; internships; makerspaces and STEM-based learning projects; and much more. If your institution is interested in applying for a project with a Let's Move!-related theme, the  next grant deadline  for museum grants is December 1, 2015.
The Incredible Edible Garden
By Matt Reinartz
Marketing & Public Relations Manager,
Como Park Zoo & Conservatory
Saint Paul, MN

The wonderful staff at Keystone Community Services received 257 pounds of food from the Edible Garden on September 1st, 2015.
2015 marked the fifth year for the Incredible Edible Garden at Como Park Zoo & Conservatory . This seasonal display shows our visitors that an edible landscape is just as beautiful as an ornamental one, with the added benefit of eating what you grow.

Daily programs offer education in edible weeds, worm composting, vegetable container gardening, the importance of pollinators, and tomato tips. Como staff and volunteers are on hand to answer visitor questions and encourage those new to vegetable and fruit growing.

People of all ages are in awe of heirloom varieties like Blue Jade Sweet Corn and Lemon Cucumber, and love the tactile experience of Dinosaur Kale and Bunny Tails Grass and the scents of our many herbs.
Visitors are pleasantly surprised to learn that the food produced in the Incredible Edible Garden goes to our zoo animals, area recreation centers and a nearby food shelf.

Horticulture Educator Erin Buchholz enjoyed talking to Como visitors about their garden challenges and successes.
President Obama Proclaims September 2015 National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

Today marks the beginning of an important month. President Obama has proclaimed September 2015 as National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.

   "This month, we pause to remember our commitment to our Nation's youth and renew our focus on improving the health and well-being of our country's most precious resource," said President Obama.

Five years ago marked the first National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month to highlight the need for action in helping kids across our country lead healthier lives. This year also marks the fifth anniversary of Let's Move!, and over the course of the last five years, we have been working with parents, community leaders, and professionals across the public and private sectors to encourage and expand access to nutritious foods and physical activity to help our kids grow up healthy.

Across America, 1.6 million kids are now attending healthier day care centers where fruits and vegetables have replaced cookies and juice, and more than 30 million kids are eating healthier school breakfasts and lunches. Nearly nine million kids attend Let's Move! Active Schools where they get sixty minutes of physical activity a day. Restaurants are working to create healthier kids' menus, and food and beverage companies cut 6.4 trillion calories from their products. Seventy-five million people now live in a Let's Move! City, Town or County where kids can walk to school on new sidewalks, participate in a summer meal program, or join a local athletic league. Religious leaders are teaching their congregations about healthy eating.

Everyone has a role to play in helping kids lead healthy lives, and we invite you to join our efforts! Check out theLet's Move! map to learn more about programs in your community and get involved. You can also take action by reviewing our simple steps for success to discover new ideas and tips to increase opportunities for kids to eat healthy and be active. Don't forget to stay updated on our latest efforts and share your successes by liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter.

This month, let's challenge ourselves to dig deeper and do more for our kids. Like the President said, "to solve the problem of childhood obesity within a generation, we must ensure the advances we have made are not reversed, including by upholding science-based nutrition standards for school meals." Let's lead by example and work to create healthier environments because we know that eating nutritious foods and staying active not only helps kids succeed in school, but also allows them to create healthy habits they will carry throughout their lives. We are committed to these efforts this month, throughout the year, and into the future, and we hope you'll join us on behalf of our kids.

University of Mississippi Museum Holds Their Biggest "Let's Move! Family Activity Day" To Date
By Emily Dean McCauley
Curator of Education
University Museum and Historic Houses
Oxford, MS

On September 19, 2015, the University Museum had 181 participants show up to start a 3/5-mile journey down Bailey's Woods Trail to end up at Rowan Oak, the one time home of William Faulkner. This particular hike was more than just good exercise as the trail was loaded with games, activities, and surprises.

Children, parents, and grandparents played trail bingo to find museum replicas, created 3-D flower art, dug for Greek artifacts at an archaeological site, painted a giant canvas mural, and refueled at a healthy trail mix station. The activity-filled fun came free of charge for participating families thanks to the sponsorship of Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi as part of the museum's Ignite Ole Miss #FREEFAMILYDAYS campaign. This past spring, the Museum's Ignite Ole Miss crowdfunding campaign raised over $6,000 to ensure three years of free family days.

  Participants were rewarded with a gold medal and their pick of prizes at the end of the trail. Receiving overwhelmingly positive response from families, the University of Mississippi Museum looks forward to holding the next "Let's Move! Family Activity Day" and continues to find new ways to share art, archaeology, and history with all ages in fun and active ways.

Submit a Success Story

If you wish to submit success stories, please email a 150-word article with photos to . In addition to your submitted photos, please be sure to include a signed copy of the  IMLS Photo Release form  (PDF).
See the   Let's Move! Museums & Gardens Toolkit (PDF) for additional programming and communication resources.

Let's Move! Museums & Gardens partners
Let's Move! Museums & Gardens  is led by the Institute of Museum and Library Services in partnership with the American Alliance of Museums, the Association of Children's Museums, the American Public Gardens Association, the American Association for State and Local History, the Association of African American Museums, the Association of Art Museum Directors, the Association of Nature Center Administrators, the Association of Science-Technology Centers, and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
About the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive.