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Moving away from Brooklyn, you could include the current White House Garden in your garden study. It is traditional for the First Lady to adopt a cause and promote it throughout her term as First Lady. With Laura Bush, a former librarian, the cause was books and literacy. With Michelle Obama, a notoriously fit woman, the cause is healthy lifestyles including physical activity and eating well. Lots more information can be found on the Let’s Move! website, but here are some ideas you might use in your classroom.

  • There’s a children’s book about the White House Garden, First Garden: The White House Garden and How It Grew by Robin Gourley. The book covers historical gardens at the White House including John Adams and Eleanor Roosevelt’s Victory Garden during World War II, but then spends the bulk of the time on Mrs. Obama and the process she and the current garden went through. Students will link their own gardening experience to hers and learn about the current garden at the White House.
  • The Let’s Move! website has 5 simple steps for schools, 5 steps for parents, 5 steps for kids, and steps for others (chefs, health care providers) that really help individuals kick-start their health initiatives. Check out the one for schools, which includes a plan to help start a garden.
  • If you are in Washington, DC, tours of the garden are offered in the spring and fall. Information about the fall tours this past October is available on the White House’s website, which is where future tour dates will be announced.
  • For day care centers, check out Let’s Move Childcare with ideas for encouraging a healthy lifestyle at your day care center.
  • There are lots of resources for eating healthy and planning meals which you could use to plan a parent’s night.
  • In addition, there’s an official cookbook, A White House Garden Cookbook: Healthy Ideas from the First Family to Your Family by Clara Silverstein.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that Brooklyn Children’s Museum is part of all this, as a member of Let’s Move! Museums & Gardens. Check back for future details about what Brooklyn Children’s Museum is doing to help kids live a healthy and active life.

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