Grant brings in new money to physical eduction

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Grant brings in new money to physical eduction


Students get active in Stillwater Area High School’s gym.

Students get active in Stillwater Area High School’s gym.

Photo by Madison Engstrum

Students get active in Stillwater Area High School’s gym.

Photo by Madison Engstrum

Photo by Madison Engstrum

Students get active in Stillwater Area High School’s gym.

Andrea Rustad

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The Stillwater district recently received a federal Carol M. White PEP Grant.  It focuses on improving the health and wellness of Stillwater students by highlighting the importance of being physically active.  The money given to the district will be used to support the Healthy MOVES initiative.  MOVES stands for Meaningful Opportunities for Vigorous Exercise Success.

Health teacher Deb Van Klei, the Healthy MOVES grant coordinator, was instrumental in creating and securing this grant.

“We are planning on impacting how we deliver our courses to get students EXCITED about moving and making healthy nutritional choices,” said Van Klei. “This grant is going to influence how we deliver our PE and Health curriculum, train our PE/Health teachers in best practice and evidence based  and researched driven curriculum.”

“We are planning on impacting how we deliver our courses to get students EXCITED about moving and making healthy nutritional choices.”

— Deb Van Klei

This grant covers grades K-12, so we can expect a large, positive impact in the health of our school district soon. Before any new policies are implemented, however, the district must collect statistics and data from a random sampling of students to understand more about the average Stillwater student’s health and wellbeing.

“We have to collect the following information from a random sampling of students,” said Van Klei. “1) Students grades K-4 have to wear a pedometer for four days and log their activity over the three days, 2) Students grades 5-12 have to wear the pedometer for 7 days and log their activity, 3) Students grades K-12 have to complete a nutrition survey, 4) In our physical education classes our students complete the Fitnessgram testing, and we will be submitting this data as part of the data collection to the Department of Education.”

The grant, which is over $2 million, is designed to be spread out over three years.

Many students have good ideas for using the money.

“They should get more advanced equipment, like more up to date treadmills,” said sophomore Megan Herrick.

Fortunately, that, and more, happens to be part of the plan.

“Part of the grant funds are used to provide equipment to deliver the curriculum and offer after school programming for students not involved in athletics but that need to be physically active,” said Van Klei.

It is evident that this grant will majorly help improve the quality of the physical education program for years to come.

Van Klei said, “We are hoping to offer students opportunities to improve their motor skill proficiency and provide opportunities in the fitness centers to explore personal pathways to their lifelong health.”

 

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