Summer 2016
Let's Move! Museums & 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 50 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.

News From the Field

The Sports Legends Experience: A National Model for Family Learning in Health a nd Fitness through Sports

By Lindsay Gramlich
Director of Donor Relations, Children's Museum of Indianapolis
Physical activity in the United States has been on the decline since 1965 with more than a quarter of American schoolchildren estimated to be overweight or obese. Studies have shown that the best way to reverse these trends is to provide children under the age of 10 with positive physical experiences by integrating fitness activities into their daily lives.That's what The Children's Museum of Indianapolis proposes to do with The Sports Legends Experience: A National Model for Family Learning in Health and Fitness through Sports.

Inspired by Let's Move!, The Sports Legends Experience will be dedicated to inspiring children and families, across generations, to participate in and enjoy sports and fitness activities together. Being active is not about competition. It's about participation. Rather than focusing on skill levels, scores, or statistics,The Sports Legends Experience will focus on the benefits of taking part in sports activities-the physical, mental, and social rewards of being in motion in an increasingly motionless world. The intention of the new 7.5-acre indoor and outdoor experience is to help visitors discover the pleasures of being active so they will want to make it a regular part of their daily lives. In addition to the physical and mental benefits, an active lifestyle provides children and adults alike with increased productivity, positive social relationships, enhanced motivation and skills, elevated academic and professional achievements, and improved self-esteem and body image.

The Sports Legends Experience aims to encourage healthy living for both children and families by providing the knowledge and tools needed to make healthy choices and increase levels of physical activity. The Sports Legends Experience shares the same level of dedication to solving the challenge of childhood obesity as Let's Move! Together, both initiatives will help create healthy futures for all generations.

The Children's Museum of Manhattan's Health and Learning Hubs
Children's Museum of Manhattan, NY

The Children's Museum of Manhattan was recently awarded a grant from Target to expand its "health and learning hub" model to 10 additional homeless shelters across the city in partnership with the Department of Homeless Services (DHS). The Museum's health and learning hubs bring permanent museum-quality installations, graphics, and hands-on education programs focused on developing healthy lifestyles and literacy to underserved communities. To date, the Museum has installed 14 hubs in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan: eight in Head Start daycare centers, five in homeless shelters, and one at NYC's Administration for Children's Service intake office in downtown Manhattan. The additional 10 health and learning hubs will bring the total to 24.
With Target's support, the Children's Museum will transform 10 DHS shelters and CMOM's staff will conduct professional development workshops for parents and shelter staff utilizing the Museum's EatPlayGrow™ curriculum and free web resources created in conjunction with the National Institutes of Health. The curriculum emphasizes strategies for affordable, healthy living. Museum educators will conduct programs at the shelters for parents and children featuring hands-on art, literacy, music and dance that teach about good nutrition, physical activity and the importance of sleep. In addition, the Museum will host two family festivals at the Museum for all program participants. More information on the EatPlayGrow™ curriculum and how your institution can use it is available here:

The Eat, Play, Grow™ curriculum was originally developed as part of a National Leadership grant in 2009. The museum received another National Leadership grant in 2011 to develop the the health and learning concept. The museum credits IMLS for helping to support The development of this successful program.


Smart Nutrition Program at the Savannah Children's Museum 
Savannah, GA

This past spring, the Savannah Children's Museum hosted a series of nutrition programs (adapted from the Children's Museum of Manhattan's   EatPlayGrow curriculum, mentioned above) focusing on healthy eating and lifestyles.  During one program titled "Balanced Diet," children learned about the importance of making healthy eating choices and exercising daily. The program incorporated kinesthetic learning by setting up an obstacle course with model food spread throughout.

Other Smart Start Programs featured different categories of foods, including "Go", "Slow", and "Whoa." "Go" being the healthiest (fruits and veggies) and "Whoa" being the foods we need to eat sparingly. This program also included an obstacle course. Kids enjoyed the challenge of finding the healthy foods as they jumped, crawled, and zigzagged their way through the course.


Camp Adventures at the Living History Farms
Urbandale, IA

Living History Farms is located on 500 acres of rolling prairie and wooded areas filled with bubbling streams and nature paths. The outdoor day camp setting provides a unique way for children entering kindergarten through 8th grade to fill their days with outdoor, hands-on activities, games, crafts and visits to Living History Farms' historic sites.
Campers in junior high can participate in activities such as archery while the Adventures of Lewis and Clark camp focuses on the expedition of the same name. Campers learn about the impact of nature on history through nature exploration and creek walks. A key component to day camp is being active.


White House Gardening Kits for Your Museum Stores

In partnership with the First Lady, the White House Historical Association has developed a special gardening set for kids including cotton tote bag and gloves, wooden and metal tools (trowel, weeding fork, and cultivator), and 10 wooden garden markers. Let's Move! Museums & Gardens participants can order these kits for a reduced price to sell in your stores. For more information, contact  Gina Sherman, VP of Retail Strategy and Sales, The White House Historical Association, 202.218.4304. 


Celebrate the National Park Service Centennial
The National Park Service turns 100 on August 25, 2016, and everyone can take part in the celebration. The centennial will kick off a second century of stewardship of America's national parks and engaging communities through recreation, conservation, and historic preservation programs.  Connect to your local park and plan a joint activity to support the celebration.

Federal Food Assistance Resources

The United States Department of Agriculture has created new resources in English and Spanish to provide direct assistance to eligible individuals and families in need. Consider making these resources available to your visitors:

If your institution is a summer meal site or is providing programming to local summer meal sites, please share your experience with  Let's Move! Museums and Gardens.


Policy Update: A New and Improved Nutrition Facts Label

Nutrition advocates are applauding the Food and Drug Administration's changes to the nutrition facts label, including larger type for displaying calories and updated daily values. Read more about the changes on the  First Lady's Let's Move! blog:

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.