New changes expected from PEP grant

health room

After winning a $1 million grant last year to improve health equipment and facilities, the district is now ready for another year of improvements to healthy education options.

This year there will be a few things happening such as a district-wide dance program, new weight and cardio equipment for Holmes Junior High and new equipment for the elementary schools.

From the original plan, year two spending is to be set at $270,000.

“The (district-wide dance) program will allow up to 32 mats at one time that are projected up on the wall.  You will be able to see your  progress and others at the same time,” project director Troy Becker said.

The grant money will also add a variety of machines to the new cardio room. Last year, the grant also expanded health class rooms.

Although the weight room has been a popular destination at the high school, the goals for the funds do not target any further developments there until year three.

Another opportunity the grant will provide is for K-12 teachers to attend the national conference in California to learn about the latest ideas for physical education. They willl also be able to attend the state conference.

“I like to go because I learn a lot of new games, get to talk to equipment reps and network with a lot with other teachers,” physical education teacher Jamie Smith said.

The grant will also help provide fitness opportunities for low income students to attend the rec center and The Falls swimming pool.

“The grant will benefit all of our 4,500 plus students in the district K – 12. Every school will receive items that all students will use in PE,” Becker said.

To carry out all these plans for the grant, a PEP committee of physical education teachers, students, parents and community members work together to decide the way the funds are spent from the PEP grant.

“I am able to network with community members and parents.  It is also great having the students there and hearing their point of view on things,” Smith said.

Some topics for discussion at the meetings include deciding what equipment to order and brainstorming ways to best use the equipment, ideas on how to redevelop curriculum and ways to get students active outside of school

“I love being a part of this committee. It is hard work, but very much worth it,” Smith said.

Funds for year three of the PEP grant will be about $250,000.

“This grant has been very beneficial in many ways, and I am very excited about the changes it will continue to make to K-12 physical education at CF,” Smith said.

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