CPS Receives $2.25m Physical Education Grant from U.S. Department of Education

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - EducationThe U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) has awarded Chicago Public Schools (CPS) a competitive $2.25 million grant under the Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP), which will provide $750,000 annually over three years to help support the District’s efforts to expand physical education (PE) and professional development for PE teachers and strengthen health and nutrition education programming. The funds represent a welcome addition to CPS’s efforts to promote greater student health and wellness through its Healthy CPS initiative, which is part of the City’s Healthy Chicago agenda.

PEP grants are intended to assist school districts with initiating, expanding or enhancing PE 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 60 minutes a day before, during and after school.  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.  With these funds, the CPS Office of Student Health and Wellness (OSHW) will undertake the following efforts to advance and institutionalize the changes to the CPS physical and health education program that the OSHW has already begun to address:

·         Increased quality: Develop infrastructure and tools to support teachers such as a curriculum map, assessments and corresponding equipment. Provide on-site coaching to PE teachers. Build technological infrastructure to collect and assess student fitness levels.

·         Professional Development: Provide regular high-quality, relevant professional development tailored to the needs of PE teachers.

·         Health/nutrition education: Coordinate and strengthen health education throughout the District with a focus on integrating nutrition education throughout the school day and the school building.

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