My name is Fabiola Silva and I’m a Child Care Provider in the Germantown Montgomery County area, early one morning, I received a telephone call from SEIU Local 500 my union, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
Amazingly, I was advised that I was invited to participate in a meeting with First Lady, Michelle Obama. After the call ended, I think that I found myself stunned that this opportunity was presented to me and it really left me with many questions in my mind about what was going to happen during this meeting. I knew that I was extremely excited.
I went to the meeting full of anticipation and excitement at having been granted this tremendous honor. To me, going into this enormous place and passing through all the complexities of security screening and state protocol was even more surprising and interesting than I had ever imagined. Just to be in this place where so many of this nations’ battles and movements have been waged and won was testimony and demonstrated to me personally, now more than ever before that the slogan: “Yes We Can” is alive in the Centro NIA in Washington, D.C.
The process of meeting so many high placed officials with many titles and offices within the United States Government was completely new to me. Though somewhat bewildering, I felt it was very much a privilege as well as a responsibility.
Rather suddenly, we were given a lot of information by various government officials in rapid succession. After a few moments a woman entered the room where we had been gathered. Without explanation she asked us to follow her to our seats which were located in the center of the front row of the auditorium. Nervously and anxiously, we spoke to officials about our experiences in working with children. Mr. Richardson and I were so nervous we could barely maintain our composure! Then, a few minutes more passed and we were then told to follow an official to yet another meeting room.
In this room were seated 12 high-ranking officials from various government agencies. Once we were ushered into this room, we were told that we would be waiting there for an official photo opportunity with The First Lady. Photos were taken, whereupon we were again escorted back to front row center seats we were shown in the original auditorium.
After a brief wait, Mrs. Obama entered the room. The First Lady explained that the present incidence of childhood obesity and the related increase in the numbers of young people now living with juvenile onset diabetes is of immense concern to her personally as well as to health and government officials all across the United States. Mrs. Obama emphasized that this situation has very serious long-term public health implications as well as tremendous impact on quality of life for all Americans both today and on into the future.
Mrs. Obama told us gathered there with her that as child care professionals, we hold a front line position in her initiative called “Let’s Move!” Therefore, during this meeting Mrs. Obama urged all of us present to join with her in an effort to get young people to be more physically active and live healthier lives through the program being launched as “Let’s Move!”
In actuality, there are many basic, simple, and cost effective steps parents and child care workers can take to encourage young people to eat healthier diets, to get more physical exercise, and generally lead more active, healthy lives as daily routine. We must encourage children to eat more fruits and vegetables as well as drink greater quantities of water or natural, non-sweetened, fruit juices. Sodas and highly sweetened drinks should be monitored, limited, and or eliminated entirely from children’s daily diets.
Definitely, children should be strongly encouraged to go outside to run and to play when possible. Children can be as physically active as they wish. This activity consumes calories, increases blood circulation and is essential for the growth of all body tissues and systems. Spending more time being engaged in physical activities, and less time in front of a television or video game monitor is a great idea.
Breast feeding is another way to naturally ensure complete nutrition as well as necessary hormonal and immunological factors to babies. Breast milk feeding via various methods should be encouraged whenever possible. Breast feeding can give both mother and child some time to take a break, and spend quality time together.
As child care specialists, we strongly support The First Lady, Michelle Obama, and the program, “Let’s Move!”
If you’d like to join us in our crusade for happier, healthier, vital, and fit, young Americans you can. Please log on to the internet and visit the official website: www.letsmove.gov. Fill out the information requested and subscribe to the newsletter in order to participate as a group with interested persons located all across our nation.
Thank you very much and please pass this message along!