Grant funding for private schools was once hard won, until 2004 when the U.S. Department of Education implemented the Executive branch policy stating that “within the framework of constitutional church-state guidelines, religiously affiliated (or "faith-based") organizations should be able to compete on an equal footing with other organizations for funding by the U.S. Department of Education.” While not all private schools are religiously affiliated, this legislation made it possible for many organizations to compete for the same grant funding as public school systems do. Whether a private school is faith-based, a military academy or one which encompasses core curriculum standards, supplementing physical education programs provides support to teach students the importance of physical fitness in their lives.
The Carol M. White Physical Education Program, also known as the PEP Grant, supports the endeavors of public and private educational organizations to enhance or expand physical education programs that help students in kindergarten through 12th grade meet their state standards for physical education. Grants are awarded in amounts ranging from $100,000 to $750,000 depending on the proposed project.
When it comes to daily nutrition, kids who enjoy physical activity are more apt to make good nutritional choices and maintain healthy body weight, according to Let’s Move, a campaign sponsored by First Lady Michelle Obama. In support of this initiative, the Keep Gym In School program was created by the National Football League. This program had awarded over $600,000 to public and private middle schools nationwide as of 2010. The grant money is used to purchase physical education equipment.
The Pepsi Refresh Project is an online grant program open to students, teachers or parents which allows access to millions of dollars to projects created to improve communities through an online, democratic voting process. The grant program is open to for-profit and nonprofit organizations, as well as private and public school representatives. In answering a Pepsi Challenge question, entrants come up with an idea which supports community change; the grant award may be used – as an example -- for playground or physical education equipment in under-served areas, or to update a deteriorating facility. If a participant’s application receives the highest number of votes in the applicable grant level, they become the award winner for the grant amount specified in their application.
Education and Fitness
The American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, or AAHPERD, offers a grant funding opportunity for schools who have participated in the "Jump Rope for Heart" or "Hoops for Heart" programs. Eligible private and public schools may apply for a secondary grant award from AAHPERD. The award is provided through an educational opportunity, encompassing a one-year AAHPERD membership for teachers at the national AAHPERD Convention; an additional award is provided to purchase gym equipment. Applicants must submit a short essay explaining their school's prior involvement with the "Hoops for Heart" or "Jump Rope for Heart" programs upon application.
- U.S. Department of Education: Regulations on the Participation of Faith-Based and Community Organizations in Department Programs
- U.S. Department of Education: Carol M. White Physical Education Program
- Let's Move: Get Active
- Pepsi Refresh Project: Official Guidelines
- AAHPERD: National Association For Sports And Physical Education
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