The U.S. Department of Education recently awarded 60 grants totaling nearly $32 million to local education agencies and community-based organizations, intended to assist them with initiating, expanding, or enhancing physical education and nutrition education programs, including after-school programs, for students in grades K-12.
Queensbury Union Free School District was among the recipients, getting $547,829, which comes from the Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP).
“Healthy, active students do better in school and in life,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “These grants will help schools and communities educate students on the value of healthy lifestyles through programs that get kids moving and teach lifelong healthy habits.”
In 2013, PEP applicants were invited to align their proposals with seven “design filters” for creating engaging, high-quality physical activity programs. Applicants could also receive points for focusing their efforts on the persistently lowest-achieving schools in their area. More than half of awardees chose to address one or both of these two new priority areas for the PEP program, Department of Education officials said.
The Queensbury grant proposal said school officials would use the money to add after-school programs to increase physical activities and develop individualized fitness goals for students.
All PEP grant recipients must implement programs that help students make progress toward meeting their state standards for physical education, officials said. In addition, these programs must undertake instruction in healthy eating habits and good nutrition, and physical fitness activities that include at least one of the following:
â€¢ Fitness education and assessment to help students understand, improve, or maintain their physical well-being.
â€¢ Instruction in a variety of motor skills and physical activities designed to enhance the physical, mental, and social or emotional development of every student.
â€¢ Development of and instruction in cognitive concepts about motor skills and physical fitness that support a lifelong healthy lifestyle.
â€¢ Opportunities to develop positive social and cooperative skills through physical activity participation.
â€¢ Opportunities for professional development for physical education teachers to stay abreast of the latest research, issues, and trends in the field of physical education.
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Healthy Students manages the PEP grants and supports efforts to create safe schools, ensure the health and well-being of students, teach students good citizenship and character, respond to crises, and prevent drug and alcohol abuse.
For additional information visit http://www2.ed.gov/programs/whitephysed/index.html.