Federal grant to boost local PE efforts

April 22, 2014 9:10PM

Blondean Davis

Matteson Elementary School District 162 and Southland College Prep Charter High School, together with seven local government agencies and higher education community partner organizations, have been awarded a Carol White Physical Education federal grant by the U.S. Department of Education, according to a press release.

The grant totals $557,075 over three years, the release said.

The award, whose first-year payment will be $242,470, is one of 67 grants totaling more than $33 million to expand and enhance physical education and nutrition education for students in kindergarten through 12th grade, according to an announcement by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

Two other Illinois school districts, Woodstock Community Unit District 200 and East St. Louis School District 189, earned similar awards, the release said.

It will support the “Aware, Active and Healthy” project and will permit Matteson District 162, Southland and their seven community partner organizations to transform physical education, nutrition and health programs to better serve the health and well-being of the students they serve, the release said.

The award is named for the late Carol M. White, a congressional aide and chief of staff to Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Ala. She was an advocate of physical education and helped pass the Physical Education for Progress (PEP) Act, the release said.

Joining with District 162 and Southland College Prep Charter High School are Park Forest’s Parks and Recreation and Health departments, Richton Park Parks and Recreation, University of Illinois Extension Cook County, Chicago State University College of Health Human Services, Cook County Department of Public Health and the Matteson School District’s food service director.

“We welcome this grant, for it will help us develop in our students, from kindergarten through the 12th grade, an appreciation for lifelong, healthy nutrition and physical education habits,” said Blondean Davis, the District 162 superintendent and CEO of Southland College Prep Charter High School.

“In today’s digital world when students spend so many of their school hours and free moments in front of ubiquitous screens of all sizes, it’s critical that they have the time and energy to move and engage in physical activity and learn the value of lifelong exercise and good nutrition,” she said.

Staff report

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