The ESU 6 lead "Rural Nebraska on the Move" federal "PEP" (Physical Education Program) grant that is bringing over $1.2 million in competitively won federal funds to six ESU 6 districts include: Dorchester, Exeter Milligan, Friend, Milford, McCool Junction and Norris.
PE staff and students have used FitnessGram over the fall months to help students set personally meaningful fitness goals and target the "Healthy Fit Zone" for strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular fitness. Students in grades k-12 currently in a PE class were randomly selected as a sample in this baseline study. In addition to FitnessGram, students have seen the direct benefits from the SPARK PE program equipment which was afforded to us because of the grant. PE teachers have used various parts of this k-12 curriculum this school year. School's PE teachers were excited to have enough equipment for all students plus a variety of PE equipment. Students have enjoyed the new equipment, and have even found the assessments for FitnessGram to be fun.
Also included in the SPARK programming through the grant was curriculum training for all pre k-5th grade teachers. The strategies learned focused on engaging students through movement in the classroom. Teachers were given resources to implement in this area. While physical activity is nothing new for our school, we are glad to have been afforded the opportunity through ESU 6 to have resources, education, equipment and curriculum supporting our years of efforts in promoting strong physical activity and good nutrition in school.
The grant purpose is to increase the level of consistency in best practices educationally in key target areas such as nutritional awareness and fitness. The goals of the grant are to improve students' physical activity as measured by the percentage of students achieving 60 minutes of daily physical activity through pedometer usage and self-activity reporting for assessment; decrease the overall BMI (body mass index) of students in all 6 districts over three years, and increase consumption of nutritious foods such as upping the baseline percentage of students who consume fruit and vegetables two or more times per day through self-reporting surveys.