Yesterday, first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign released Ad Council-produced PSA’s aimed at getting kids to become more active. The announcement in Atlanta came on the first anniversary of the initiative, which launched with the focus of getting healthful food in schools, more accurate food labeling, and better grocery stores in communities that don’t have them.
Let’s Move, like many efforts that seek to motivate an unyielding demographic like youths, need help from corporate partners to motivate kids to be active. Kids today are motivated by different levers than young people were even just a few years ago. While many corporate suits claim to understand this dynamic, and go as far showing support for efforts like Let’s Move, their actions don’t express an understanding of today’s youths, or an entrenched commitment to the issue.
Let’s Move and other initiatives like it will be successful when corporate partners offer real incentives for kids to get off the couch or to put down the video games. Real incentives from their corporate coffers. Without incentives that actually matter to kids, government initiated campaigns will be just that, message campaigns.
Beyond corporate incentives, we can only hope that groups of committed volunteers will muster the energy and resources to launch programs that literally get kids moving. Without corporate incentives and committed volunteers, I’m afraid to think of what would happen to our children.