The Sachem Central School District was notified Thursday it earned a PEP grant from the federal government worth $1.5 million.
Sachem, which will get $540,000 the first year, was one of 76 grant winners, receiving money totaling more than $35 million nationwide through the Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP).
The entire three years of funds and how they should be spent are outlined in the grant application, according to Sachem Director of Athletics Pete Blieberg.
"This grant will allow the Sachem School District to have one of the most comprehensive and state of the art physical education programs in the state," Blieberg said. "We are extremely excited and thankful for receiving this prestigious grant which took the coordinated efforts of a district team to land this nationally recognized and highly competitive grant. We look forward to implementing this new program as soon as possible."
According to 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 kindergarten through 12th grades.
"As a result of these grants, schools will have additional resources to help students become healthier and more active," U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a statement.
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.