CHICAGO — Nike Inc. on Thursday pledged $50 million to help boost First Lady Michelle Obama’s efforts to increase physical activity in school-age children.
The First Lady returned to her hometown Thursday to launch her latest initiative, “Let’s Move! Active Schools,” which is a multiorganization partnership meant to build on the earlier Let’s Move effort aimed at parents and communities. The new initiative will attempt to engage 50,000 schools in the next five years, with the goal of encouraging at least one hour a day of physical activity among school-age children.
The inspiration comes partly from studies that have shown children need 60 minutes of physical activity daily to stay healthy yet only 4 percent of elementary schools, 8 percent of middle schools and 2 percent of high schools offer daily physical education.
Nike will provide marketing and communications expertise. Other private and nonprofit organizations are providing an additional $22 million, and the U.S. Department of Education will reorient its $80 million Carol M. White Physical Education Program toward schools with the greatest needs. In addition to grant money, the program will provide participating schools such resources as professional development, technical assistance and communications tools.
During the event at Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center, the First Lady acknowledged the challenges that schools face in tough budgetary times to find time and money to promote physical fitness.
“But just because it’s hard doesn’t mean we should stop trying,” Obama said. “It means we should try harder. It means that…we all need to dig deeper and start getting even more creative. Quality physical education comes in all different forms and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. But it does take leadership.…That’s why Nike and all these other organizations today have stepped up.”
Obama recalled the “countless opportunities” that she and her brother had to be physically active growing up, adding that, “Playing sports taught me teamwork, it taught me how to be aggressive, it taught me how to win. Playing sports was important to our success in school and in life.”
Mark Parker, president and chief executive officer of Nike, said, “We must provide early, positive experiences for kids through play and sport.…We recognize there must be a greater sense of urgency to address this. We’re also pledging the engagement of our [corporate] family. I’m very optimistic about our ability to shape the future.”
Joining the political and corporate leaders at the event, who also included U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, were athletes Allyson Felix, Bo Jackson, Dominique Dawes, Ashton Eaton, Colin Kaepernick, Sarah Reinertsen, Gabby Douglas, Paul Rodriguez, Bob Harper and Serena Williams. Each talked briefly about sports and physical fitness experiences growing up, to the shrieking cheers of 6,500 Chicago public school students who surrounded the stage.
But no one got a louder reaction than the First Lady, when she reappeared at the end of the event to address the students directly. “You have the power to choose the life you want for yourselves,” said Obama, who closed out the event by dancing with groups of the school children. “Whether you fill your bodies with chips and candy or fruits and vegetables, that’s on you. Whether you sit around all day and play video games or get up and move your bodies, those are the choices you make.”
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye