Friday, June 18, 2010

Ready... Set... GO!

The day has arrived! Another Carol M. White PEP Grant competition has opened. We know the process can be overwhelming and we want to do anything we can to make it a little easier, so we've put together some of the need-to-knows. Please note, these suggestions and tips are general and don't necessarily reflect new requirements for the 2010 PEP Grant. For a complete list of this year's requirements, please refer to the federal register, published today.

What is the PEP Grant?
According to the Department of Education the purpose of the Carol M. White Physical Education Program is to provide funds to local educational agencies and community-based organizations (including faith-based organizations) to initiate, expand, and improve physical education programs (including after school programs) for students in one or more grades from kindergarten through 12 in order to make progress toward meeting State standards for physical education by providing funds for equipment, support, and the training and education of teachers and staff. 

In order to receive funding, each applicant must design and implement a program that clearly aligns to state standards for physical education and provides for one or more of the following elements:
  • Fitness education and assessment to help students understand, improve or maintain physical well-being
  • Instruction in motor skills and physical activities designed to enhance the physical, mental, or social or emotional development;
  • Development of, and instruction in, cognitive concepts about motor skills and physical fitness that support healthy lifestyles;
  • Opportunities to develop positive social and cooperative skills through physical activity participation;
  • Instruction in healthy eating habits and good nutrition; and
  • Opportunities for professional development for physical education teachers to stay abreast of current research, issues, and trends in physical education.

    Please note:
    although PE4life helped to write the initial bill that became the PEP Grant, the grant is awarded through the Department of Education, NOT PE4life.
Still interested? Follow these steps! 
1. Develop Your PEP Team
2. Gather the Data
3. Design a Program
4. Create a Budget
5. Other Helpful Hints

1. Develop Your PEP Team - We've said it before and we'll say it again - you have to have support to be successful in your program. If you've been planning on applying for awhile or if you've applied in the past, hopefully you've already got a rockstar PEP team together. If not, well, here are some people you'll want on your team (the old cliche rings true in this case - the more the merrier):

• Program manager (the leader of the initiative
within your school or district)
• Financial officer
• Principal
• Superintendent
• Cross-disciplinary staff
• Dietitian/school lunch program
• School nurse(s)
• Special education staff
• PE staff
• Other stakeholders
• Parent(s)
• Community or business leader(s)
• School board member(s)
• Other teachers
• Vendors
• University faculty
• Local hospital/medical staff
• Grant writer

2. Gather the Data - In addition to the required documentation of the application, here are some valuable data to include. The more specific your data is to your target population, the better:
District demographics (check your area profile at
• Race
• Gender mix
• Economic indicators
• Average household income
• Number of students who qualify for free/reduced lunch
• Special needs populations
• Number of students who will be impacted by your PEP program and/or number of students enrolled by age group and by grade

Existing physical fitness data (this can come from one or more of the following sources):
• President’s Physical Fitness Test
• FitnessGram
• Other fitness test data
• Existing test data showing district achievement as compared
with state PE/health standards (check your state’s department
of education for statistics)
• Existing data showing rates of obesity and diabetes
in your area (information may be available from your local
health department or municipal government)

3. You’ll need to craft a proposed program that will meet the objectives of the PEP Grant program. Your proposal must address the following issues (be specific):
• Determine the number of minutes of moderate or vigorous
physical activity that students engage in daily
• Determine comprehensive student progress toward meeting
state PE/health standards
• Describe professional development for PE/health staff
• Describe your program activities with minimal attention to
equipment utilization and purchases
• Describe how your program uses an evidence-based
• Develop a plan to capture program data and to evaluate
the data

4. Create a Budget - You will need an itemized budget. Be as specific as you possibly can.

5. Other tips: 
  • Gain the support and commitment from school administration and the rest of the PEP team first. You will need a commitment from the stakeholders before you begin writing your proposal. No one wants to complete a first draft and then discover one of the school principals is not interested in allowing more time for PE or is opposed to bringing in new equipment. By gaining early support and keeping your team in the loop as you create a draft and a budget, you can avoid last-minute problems.

  • Use the Frequently Asked Questions section. This part of the application contains helpful information about submission, eligibility, budget allowances, etc. School districts who read the FAQ section in 2006 learned that schools could not charge students an activity fee — important information to know before you even begin your narrative and budget. You may want to read this section first.

  • Allow yourself plenty of time to meet the deadline. A superintendent’s signature is required as are other forms and attachments. In 2006, grants were submitted electronically through Over the next few years, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) will be transitioning its discretionary grants application process to use the federal government-wide website. During this transition, a particular discretionary application package and the location for submitting it could appear at any one of several locations. You may need to register in order to submit.

    This information was taken from the PE4life booklet called "So... You Want to Apply for a PEP Grant." Click here to download a pdf of the booklet or for a pretty version, purchase the booklet for $3 from our Pro Shop.
Need a PEP talk? Read these testimonials:
  • Obviously it is the ideal scenario to have government money to do good things for the wellness of our students. We would not do this without the money. It is that simple. We could not afford to. —James Walsh, Aliquippa, PA

  • Through the evaluation conducted by the University of Miami, we have seen significant changes in student fitness levels, changes in the amount of time students are physically active, changes in attitudes (through both a written assessment and focus groups), changes in weight loss and weight gain (for those who wanted to add muscle mass), and overall nutrition awareness. —Dr. Jayne Greenberg, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, FL

  • Receiving federal funding through the PEP grant has made all the difference in the world to the quality of physical education programs that we were able to deliver. In financially strapped times when the emphasis is on reading and mathematics, little funding was available to buy anything but the basic bats and balls for physical education. —Dr. Jayne Greenberg, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, FL

  • We now have a physical education curriculum in progress, we can assess student performance in PE, and we can improve overall student mental and physical performances throughout the school. Additionally, we are working to increase physical education time in grades K-8 and begin a program in grades 9-12. We are changing students’ schedules to accommodate this increase in PE time. We have made students aware of their own wellness and have defined fitness at a new level for everyone. We have implemented more quality activities for PE participation using up-to-date technology, such as heart rate monitors and pedometers. —Misti Mitchell-Bain, Comanche, OK

  • It is difficult to put into words the impact this funding has had on our community. It has brought together educators and health experts for a common mission: to help prevent childhood obesity and improve the health of the children we serve. The funds have provided our physical education teachers the opportunity to learn from experts in the field of physical education and observe model classes being taught. The funds have given students equipment,
    which also serve as motivational tools, to use in order for them to take charge of their own well-being. —Sheila Ochowicz, Redwood City, CA
For more information, check out these resources:
To help us promote the 2011 Carol M. White PEP Grant, click here.

Whew! We know that was a lot of information, but we hope it will help you in your PEP Grant seeking process! Good luck to all!! If you have specific questions, post them to our Facebook page and we'll do what we can to help you find the answer!

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