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LIM Joins Michelle Obama in Community Service

July 01, 2009

On June 22, USF School of Law students, administrators, and staff participating in the Law In Motion Service Program worked beside first lady Michelle Obama and first lady of California Maria Shriver to build a new playground for youth and seniors at Bret Harte Elementary School.

Located in San Francisco's Hunter's Point neighborhood, the new playground will offer community space for play and gardening.

"Law In Motion's participation in building an inter-generational playground was a great opportunity to renew USF School of Law's ongoing commitment to service," Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Erin Dolly said. "We are grateful for our continued partnership with the San Francisco School Volunteers on projects such as these, and the opportunity to hear from two women so whole-heartedly dedicated to public service, Maria Shriver and Michelle Obama."

The volunteers painted sundials and checkerboards onto tables, planted shrubs and installed planters for vegetable gardens, and built an outdoor patio. The creation of the playground is ongoing and will be built entirely by volunteers.

During her speech to fellow volunteers, Obama stressed the importance of volunteering and called attention to President Obama's new United We Serve initiative. The initiative is a national call for public service and concentrates on promoting education, energy, the environment, health care, and community renewal. Michelle Obama cited the playground as an example of what this new initiative aims to achieve by encouraging exercise among children and helping to battle the childhood obesity epidemic.

"There are just too many kids that are living a life off of high calorie foods and...not getting enough exercise," Obama said of the nation's health concerns for its youngest generation. "That's why we can't underestimate the value of having safe and quality playgrounds in every single community. That's why the project that we are doing here today…(is) necessary, not just for the health of our children, but for the health of the entire nation."

To learn about Law In Motion Service Program activities or view event pictures, click here.