The U.S. Department of Education has awarded 67 grants totaling more than $33 million to Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and community-based organizations that plan to implement comprehensive, integrated physical activity and nutrition programs for their students through the Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP). Funding is intended to assist these entities with initiating, expanding, or enhancing physical education and nutrition education programs, including after-school programs, for students in kindergarten through 12th grades. Through these programs, it is expected that students will develop an appreciation for lifelong, healthy nutrition and physical education habits, and make progress toward meeting their state standards for physical education.
"A healthy, active lifestyle is an important ingredient of academic success," U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. "These grants are a resource to help schools and communities develop programs that teach students the importance of staying active and developing healthy lifestyles. We need more states, districts, schools and communities to recognize the critically important role of physical education in improving student engagement and achievement."
Grant recipients must implement programs that help students make progress toward meeting their state standards for physical education. In addition, these programs must undertake the following: 1) instruction in healthy eating habits and good nutrition, and 2) physical fitness activities that include at least one of the following:
fitness education and assessment to help students understand, improve, or maintain their physical well-being;
instruction in a variety of motor skills and physical activities designed to enhance the physical, mental, and social or emotional development of every student;
development of and instruction in cognitive concepts about motor skills and physical fitness that support a lifelong healthy lifestyle;
opportunities to develop positive social and cooperative skills through physical activity participation; and
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 on the PEP grant program, visit http://www2.ed.gov/programs/whitephysed/index.html.