Education, HHS Secretaries Celebrate Constitution Day Line Dancing in Colorado Schools

By Penny Starr | September 18, 2012 | 3:32 PM EDT

Students at Lowry Elementary in Denver waved goodbye to the "Education Drives America" bus. (Official Department of Education photo by Joshua Hoover)

( – On the fourth day of a nationwide “back-to-school” bus tour, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius spent the day at schools in Colorado, eating lunch and line dancing with students.

“It may have been a once-in-lifetime occurrence: two cabinet secretaries, one governor, two U.S. senators and dozens of students all line-dancing. Historic or not, the importance of the Let’s Move! back-to-school bus tour event at Lowry Elementary in Denver, was clear: Children who are healthy and active are better prepared to learn,” the e-mail update distributed by the Education Department on Tuesday states.

“Education Secretary Arne Duncan joined Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Lt. Gov. Joseph Garcia, [Colorado] Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet and Colorado Commissioner of Education Robert Hammond,” the e-mail reported.

The bus also visited Limon Public School in Limon, Colo., where Duncan said in his prepared remarks that Constitution Day is a time to reflect on the rights Americans enjoy, rights that in some countries “simply don’t exist.”

As reported, the Education Department did not respond to inquiries about the cost of the bus tour and what funds are being used to pay for it. The trip includes 100 events in 12 states, beginning in Silicon Valley, Calif., on Sept. 12 and ending at the Department of Education’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 21.

In a video accompanying the Department of Education e-mail, Duncan said that participants “flew into Denver today” to visit the Colorado schools.

Duncan noted that the visit to Lowry Elementary included “lots of physical activity – way too much for me.”

“The actually made me dance,” Duncan said.

“Lowry is part of the Denver Public Schools’ Garden to Cafeteria program, which allows students to grow fruits and vegetables at school and then provide some of their harvest to the school cafeteria for school lunches,” the e-mail update notes. “The visiting dignitaries ate lunch with students in the cafeteria, toured the schools’ gardens and then worked up a sweat by shooting hoops with students and doing the line dance known as the “Cupid Shuffle.”

Duncan said that students at Lowry are given backpacks full of food on Friday afternoons “so they don’t have to worry about them not eating and being hungry over the weekend when they return back to school.”

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