Stemmers Run Middle School students answer First Lady’s call to "move"


A group of students at Stemmers Run Middle School spent part of a recent afternoon abandoning their regular routines of reading, writing, and math. Instead, they were concerned with dance moves such as the Dougie, the Running Man, and the Beyonce Bounce.

Were they skipping class or acting up? Not even close. They were actually answering First Lady Michelle Obama’s call when she challenged youth nationwide with her “Let’s Move” campaign. As part of the First Lady’s goal to address the epidemic of childhood obesity, more than 600 schools joined her at 1:42 pm on Tuesday, May 3, in a flash workout choreographed by Beyonce and designed to mix fitness with fun.

The First Lady herself participated in the live workout at Alice Deal Middle School in Washington, D.C., while other Baltimore County Public Schools, such as Harford Hills Elementary School, participated as well.


Stemmers Run students came to after-school workouts to prepare for the live routine, but sixth-grader David Johnson, 12, thought the hard work was worthwhile. “The program makes you sweat, but it makes you fit while having fun,” he said. “You really had to focus and practice the dance moves.”

Fellow sixth-grader Sheldon Jackson, 12, agreed. “They should do more activities like this, so people can get fit and active,” he said. “You get to exercise and have fun with other people.”

For Assistant Principal Maryann Knapp reactions like these made organizing the event completely meaningful. “I think this really shows kids that exercise and physical fitness can be fun. They enjoyed the dance piece, and they really liked the music,” she said, referring to soundtrack provided by Beyonce. “They could relate to it, and for some of them, it really sparked an interest.”

Story by Jeff Flynn, Good News Ambassador and social studies teacher, Stemmers Run Middle School. Photos by Maryann Knapp, assistant principal, Stemmers Run Middle School.
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