Washington (CNN) – The Trump administration is discontinuing a signature girls education initiative championed by former first lady Michelle Obama, according to officials.
Trump administration ending Michelle Obama’s girls education program
The “Let Girls Learn” program, which she and President Barack Obama started in 2015 to facilitate educational opportunities for adolescent girls in developing countries, will cease operation immediately, according to an internal document obtained by CNN.
While aspects of the initiative’s programming will continue, employees have been told to stop using the “Let Girls Learn” name and were told that, as a program unto itself, “Let Girls Learn” was ending.
“Moving forward, we will not continue to use the ‘Let Girls Learn’ brand or maintain a stand-alone program,” read an email sent to Peace Corps employees this week by the agency’s acting director Sheila Crowley.
‘Let Girls Learn’ provided a platform to showcase Peace Corps’ strength in community development, shining a bright light on the work of our Volunteers all over the world,” Crowley wrote. “We are so proud of what ‘Let Girls Learn’ accomplished and we have all of you to thank for this success.”
News of the program’s end came the same day President Donald Trump’s agriculture secretary, Sonny Perdue, was visiting an elementary school in suburban Virginia to announce changes to another initiative spotlighted by the former first lady, healthy school lunches.
Perdue was set to unveil a rule change “providing regulatory flexibility for the National School Lunch Program” during a visit to Catoctin Elementary School in Leesburg. Like “Let Girls Learn,” improving the nutritional quality of school meals was a major focus of Obama’s during her tenure as first lady.
It wasn’t immediately clear how Perdue’s announcement would alter the nutritional makeup of school lunches nationwide, though health advocacy groups warned that backtracking could prove dangerous for children.
“Rather than altering the current path forward, we hope the agency focuses more on providing technical assistance that can help schools get across the finish line, if they haven’t done so already,” said American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown.
“Let Girls Learn” was an inter-governmental initiative run primarily at the Peace Corps and the United States Agency for International Development. A spokesman for the Peace Corps said Monday the agency would continue its efforts toward girls’ education.