Literacy Leaders

"Let's Read, Let's Move" Initiative Tackling Literacy Nationwide

United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recently issued a nationwide call for change in education that echoed into the hearts of some of the nation’s most dynamic young leaders. Washington Redskins Chris Draft was one of the first to join other prominent community figures in answering that call to action during a recent “Let’s Read. Let’s Move.” event in Washington, D.C . Since 2006, Washington Redskins Chris Draft has made it his mission to change lives through The Chris Draft Family Foundation’s “Literacy Leaders and Get Checked, Get Fit™” health and wellness programmatic initiatives.

The common denominator of education and fitness created a natural synergy with U.S. Department of Education’s “Let’s Read. Let’s Move” nationwide plan. Chris Draft Family Foundation’s Get Checked and Get Fit™ is a nationwide campaign providing access to tools and opportunities which encourage youth and their families to make positive choices regarding their overall health and wellness. The foundation’s Literacy Leaders is a network of people dedicated to “Changing lives, saving lives, one book at a time” through promoting literacy and encouraging reading. Literacy Leaders focuses on early childhood reading, adolescent Literacy and family literacy.

“When I heard the staggering statistics of how youth are adversely affected academically by not staying engaged in mental and physical activities through the summer months, then I knew something had to be done,” said Draft who is a national spokesman for the Parent Teacher Association. “I am diligently working to get books in the hands of young people so we can effectively combat learning inactivity during these summer months. I know that by putting a book in every child’s hands then we are giving them a hand to be the best that they can be in life.”

According to information from the U.S. Department of Education, “Research shows that academic achievement stalls and, for far too many disadvantaged children, actually worsens if they are not engaged in educational activities during the summer.  In fact, most low-income children can lose more than two months of progress in reading achievement during the summer break.”

“I am so thankful to Chris. He is obviously a remarkable athlete but most importantly he is committed to children in the community,” said Secretary Duncan. “We are so appreciative to Chris and the Redskins for helping us out like this. It is a day the kids will remember for the rest of their lives.”

Draft, who is the author of the children’s book, “Do You Want To Play Catch,” understands the importance of putting education first. “In order for our young people to succeed in life, we have to give them all the right tools needed for them to do so. We have to remind our kids to read, exercise and eat right.” 

U.S. Department of Education explains the “Let’s Read. Let’s Move.” series as an answer to combating summer learning loss and physical inactivity. With partners such as The Chris Draft Family Foundation, lower income families are finding resources to increase academic achievement, healthy lifestyles and physical fitness.

“’Let’s Read. Let’s Move.’ is a program that makes sure that during the summer months kids are reading every day, turning off those televisions and video games and getting exercise,” added Secretary Duncan.  “If kids are reading and are active, then we know they are active and healthy and will go back in the fall reading for school to begin again.” 

During a recent “Let’s Read. Let’s Move.” event, Secretary Duncan and Draft actively engaged youth in reading circles and learning activities. Draft, along with teammates H.B. Blades and Rocky McIntosh lead the youth attendees in various callisthenic activities and talked about the importance of physical fitness to the whole group.

To become a part of the Literacy Leaders or Get Checked, Get Fit™ nationwide initiative as a community leader, participant or sponsor, visit