U.S. Dep't of Education now accepting PEP grant applications

Deadline for Submitting Applications is March 24
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Deadline for Submitting Applications is March 24

WASHINGTON, D.C. – February 21, 2008 -- The U.S. Department of Education has set a March 24th deadline for new PEP Grants Applications. The Department estimates $33,850,000 in funding for available for approximately 112 grants. Most grant awards will range from $100,000 to $300,000 apiece. Last year, the Congress approved $75,655,000 for the PEP program. The balance of allotted funds will be dedicated for previously approved multi-year PEP grants.

PEP (Carol M. White Physical Education Program) is a competitive grant program managed by the U.S. Department of Education. PEP grants are awarded to schools and community based organizations that provide innovative P.E. and physical activity programs for America's youth. This funding is a top priority in SGMA's commitment to provide quality physical education for America's youth through schools and community based organizations.

A U.S. Department of Education report on PEP noted:

“quality physical education programs provide opportunity for students to learn the value of regular physical activity and good nutrition in order to develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Quality physical education programs also create safe environments for students to improve their cognitive skills and social interaction. Through PEP grants, we support local educational agencies and community-based organizations in their efforts to develop and implement research-based K-12 physical education programs. Two primary objectives of this grant program are to help students make progress toward meeting state standards in physical education, and to help students increase their physical activity. To achieve these program objectives, funds are used in a variety of ways, including curriculum development and implementation, professional development, fitness assessments, and equipment purchases.”

For additional information about the PEP grant and to access the online application for 2009 PEP grants, please visit www.ed.gov/osdfs. The application in a word document can be found at http://www.ed.gov/programs/whitephysed/2008-215f.doc

"The PEP program is a federally funded initiative that is making a difference in communities across this country where new P.E. programs are being implemented,” said SGMA President Tom Cove. “As our childhood and adult obesity rates remain an issue, initiatives like PEP must continue to be implemented to help reverse those negative trends. It's vital that we encourage young children and teenagers to be active and be more health conscious. If we fail, we will be faced with a massive health care crisis in the not too distant future.”

Since the initial PEP grants in 2001, nearly 900 PEP grants totaling $500 million have been awarded to school districts and community based organizations. PEP funds have successfully enhanced K-12 physical education and community-based organizations' physical activity programs across the country. PEP grants are used for training in state-of-the-art health and wellness-based physical educations methods; the purchase of new technology such as heart-rate monitors and pedometers; and the acquisition of innovative P.E. equipment such as elliptical machines, treadmills, rock climbing walls exergames, and stationary bikes.

The integration of new thinking, new products, and new technology form the platform on which today's quality PE programs are built.

The main base of support for PEP is generated by National Health-through-Fitness Day (www.getinvolved.sgma.com) which will take place this year on March 12th in Washington, D.C. SGMA organizes this day-long lobbying effort which features well known athletes, sporting goods manufacturers, P.E. teachers, health care leaders, concerned citizens, association executives, and other physical education advocates. The goal of this initiative is for SGMA members and P.E. partners to have one-on-one discussions with members of Congress and their legislative aides about this national youth fitness issue.

The Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association partners with dmg world media to produce the SGMA Team Sports Show and SGMA Sports Licensing Show. SGMA, the owner of the Sports Research Partnership, is the global business trade association of manufacturers, retailers, and marketers in the sports products industry. SGMA enhances industry vitality and fosters sports, fitness, and active lifestyle participation. More information about SGMA can be found at www.sgma.com

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