First lady Michelle Obama visited Orr Elementary School in Washington, D.C. as part of the Let’s Move! Active Schools program.

With classes back in session, first lady Michelle Obama is telling students to move! For exercise, that is. Joined by all-star athletes and supporters of the Let’s Move! Active Schools campaign, Obama visited Washington, D.C.’s, Benjamin Orr Elementary School Friday with words of encouragement and for an afternoon of physical activity.

“We are changing the conversation in this country. We are creating a cultural shift in how we live and eat. Our efforts are beginning to have a real impact on our children’s lives,” Obama shared with an audience of educators.

The first lady commended recent strides and improvements made to ensure healthy habits for children taking place in our schools, homes, businesses and communities. Noting that this is the first time in decades that obesity rates among low-income pre-schoolers dropped in 19 states and territories, Obama applauded healthier school meal options, more balanced meal offerings for kids in restaurants and easy-to-find healthy food choices in stores.

Since its launch in February, more than 3,700 schools have signed up to be active through www.LetsMoveSchools.org. The program encourages schools to provide 60 minutes daily of physical activity. At Friday’s event, Washington, D.C., Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson announced that all 111 District of Columbia Public Schools have signed up for the program, making it the first school district with total participation.

Obama assured the audience that these efforts are only the beginning. “We still have a very long way to go before we solve this problem,” she said. “Right now we are truly at a pivotal moment – a tipping point when the message is just starting to break through, when new habits are just beginning to pay forward. And we’re seeing the very first glimmer of the kind of transformational change that we are capable of making in this country.”

The first lady’s remarks made clear that good nutrition and physical activity are just as non-negotiable as learning how to add and subtract. She encouraged educators to keep pushing when it comes to implementing healthy habits in the classrooms, gymnasiums and cafeterias, including efforts like the new lunch standards.

“As you approach this new school year and you’re out there working hard and doing your best to implement these new changes, don’t ever forget that what we’re doing is working and what we’re doing is good for our kids,” she encouraged.

After making school-wide announcements over the PA system with former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal,  Obama, O’Neal, Olympians Dominique Dawes and Allyson Felix led the fourth and fifth graders in games and other physical activity.

The Let’s Move! Active Schools program is a part of the first lady’s Let’s Move! initiative. For more information, visit www.letsmove.gov.