Marshalltown Schools receive PE, nutrition grant

Marshalltown Community School District is the recipient of one of 60 grants under the Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP).

Marshalltown Schools will receive $494,201 in year one of the three-year grant out of the combined $32 million awarded Monday by the U.S. Department of Education. Funding is intended to assist with initiating, expanding, or enhancing physical education and nutrition education programs, including after-school programs, for students in grades K-12. The PEP program is aligned with and supports First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Active Schools initiative to get kids moving before, during and after school.

“Through the collaborative effort of the Healthier Communities Coalition in Marshalltown, we have laid the groundwork toward educating students and families about the benefits of physical activity and healthy eating habits,” said Matt Tullis, director of equity and learning supports and coordinator of the district Safe Schools/Healthy Students initiative. “We know there is a direct link between physical fitness and student achievement. This project will move us toward our goals and will certainly benefit all of Marshalltown.”

In 2013, PEP applicants were invited to align their proposals with seven “design filters” for creating engaging, high-quality physical activity programs. Applicants could also receive points for focusing their efforts on the persistently lowest-achieving schools in their area. More than half of awardees chose to address one or both of these two new priority areas for the PEP program.

“Healthy, active students do better in school and in life,” said Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education. “These grants will help schools and communities educate students on the value of healthy lifestyles through programs that get kids moving and teach lifelong healthy habits.”

All PEP grant recipients must implement programs that help students make progress toward meeting their state standards for physical education. In addition, these programs must undertake 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

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