Published: Jul 18, 2008 06:14 PM
Modified: Jul 18, 2008 06:14 PM
Chapel Hill-Carrboro receives federal physical education grant
Students who attend Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools will have new opportunities to be physically active thanks to an infusion of federal financial support from the United States Department of Education. It was announced this week that CHCCS is one of 98 school districts from across the country selected for a 2008 Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP) grant. Over the next three years, this competitive award will provide CHCCS with a total of $821,662 in funding to strengthen its physical education and activity programs.According to the federal program announcement, PEP grants are awarded to support the initiation, expansion and improvement of physical education programs, including after-school programs, in order to make progress toward meeting state standards for physical education for kindergarten through 12th grade students. The award is designated to provide equipment and support for students to participate actively in physical education activities, and to provide funds for staff and teacher training and education.In recent years, CHCCS has started to gather data from students' fitness assessments at each school. The fitness assessment program was designed to teach students how to assess their fitness levels, set goals for improvement and monitor progress in reaching their goals. This goal can be better achieved when physical education teachers and programs have equal resources to use with their students.The PEP grant will allow students to benefit from new resources for physical education instruction, such as climbing walls, circuit training equipment, heart rate monitors, physical education technology and other equipment that will equalize learning across schools.Physical education isn't the only means of physical activity during the school day. The Centers for Disease Control recommends that children and adolescents participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity most days of the week whether at home or at school. The state of North Carolina requires that students participate in 30 minutes of daily physical activity during the school day. There is considerable research to show that physical activity and movement integrated into the school day has a positive impact on student learning.PEP funds will extend beyond the physical education classroom to create new school offerings that enhance student learning, increase student health and fitness and promote physically active lifestyles. Perhaps the biggest benefit from PEP funds will be the chance to invest in the professional growth of district physical education teachers. At a time when so much attention has been placed on testing and core content instruction, PEP funds will provide district physical education teachers the opportunity to attend professional development in order to stay abreast of the latest research, issues and trends in their field.
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2008 The Chapel Hill News