The U.S. Department of Education today awarded 56 grants totaling $27 million to school districts and community organizations who plan to implement comprehensive physical fitness and nutrition programs for their students through the Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP). Since the program began in 2001, the department has awarded more than $620 million in funding to expand and improve physical and nutrition education programs across the country for students in kindergarten through high school.
"Exercise and good nutrition make for happier, healthier, more attentive and more productive students," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "These grants will help students strengthen their bodies and in so doing, inspire their minds to confront the challenges that face them both inside the classroom and out."
Grant recipients must implement programs that help students make progress toward meeting their state standards for physical education. The programs must offer instruction in healthy eating habits and good nutrition. Among the types of activities that the grants support is instruction in motor skills that support a lifelong healthy lifestyle. And, opportunities for professional development for teachers of physical education to stay abreast of the latest research and trends in the field of physical education.
The Office of Safe and Healthy Students, which manages PEP, 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 on the PEP grant program, visit http://www2.ed.gov/programs/whitephysed/index.html.