Physical Education Program (PEP) Grant

In 2014 Putnam City Schools was awarded a Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP) Grant. PEP is a highly competitive federally funded grant program aimed at reducing childhood and adolescent obesity by initiating, expanding, or enhancing physical education programs. The district was one of 67 districts across the nation selected for this grant out of a pool of more than 500 districts that applied.

Putnam City will receive three years of grant funding. During this time frame, the district will:

• Revise and expand elementary physical education curriculum to include a wider range of physical activities and technologies.
• Implement the research-based, effective physical activity curriculum known as SPARK.
• Purchase age-level and developmentally appropriate physical education equipment, school vegetable and fruit gardens, pedometers, and fitness-related equipment and materials for use by students during recess and after school.
• Collaborate with community partners to increase opportunities for students to be active and learn about healthy eating choices.

Evaluating the Success of the Grant
In order to maintain and continue to receive grant funding under the program, Putnam City – like every district that received a 2014 PEP grant – is required to assess and report on the three measures listed below:

Measure One
The percentage of students who engage in 60 minutes of daily physical activity. Districts who received PEP grants are required, as a condition of the grant, to survey students about fitness and activity. Districts will also ask students in grades K-5 to wear pedometers in order to measure the number of steps students take in a day.

Measure Two
As measured by FitnessGram, the percentage of students who achieve age-appropriate cardiovascular fitness levels. FitnessGram is a comprehensive educational and reporting tool used to assess physical fitness and physical activity levels for children. It was first developed in 1982 by the Cooper Institute and is the most widely used children’s health-related physical fitness assessment in the world. We can’t help bragging that the Cooper Institute was founded by Dr. Kenneth Cooper, a world-famous physician who also happens to be a 1949 graduate of Putnam City High School.

Measure Three
The percentage of students who consume fruit two or more times per day and vegetables three or more times per day. This information will be gathered from a survey that asks students about their nutritional habits.

Gathering the Data
During the 2015-2016 school year data will be collected two times in order to meet grant requirements. 

Putnam City’s PEP grant staff will generate a random list of K-5 students from the district’s 18 elementary schools. Each of the two data collection periods will result in a different list of 464 randomly chosen students from elementary schools across the district. In each data collection period, selected students will wear a pedometer Monday through Friday (from waking to bedtime, both in and out of school) for four consecutive days. Pedometers should be removed for showering, bathing, swimming or going to bed. Each night, Monday through Thursday, parents will need to assist K-5 students in removing his/her pedometer before going to bed and hanging it on their backpack so it is ready to wear the next day. Pedometers should be returned to the school the Friday immediately following the end of the four-day data collection period.

Students will also fill out a survey once during the data collection week. The survey asks students to recall how they spent their time during the week and at what physical activity intensity levels they were during those times.

On the first and last surveys of the year, students may be asked to respond to additional questions related to physical activity and nutrition behaviors. No prior preparation or assessments will be needed to respond to additional questions. The grade students receive for physical education class will not be based on any of these assessments.

Tentative Data Collection Weeks

Period 1
Aug. 20 – Oct. 14, 2015

Period 2
March 21– May 13, 2016

Privacy of Information
The information noted above will be reported grant administrators. To insure student privacy, names will not be used in reporting data. Furthermore, all data for federal and community reports will be reviewed and analyzed as a group rather than as individual student data. We will not identify students, and reports will include only group results.

We Need Your Help
Please assist your children as much as possible during each data collection period by reminding them to wear their pedometers. Please return your child’s pedometer to his or her physical education teacher as soon as possible if it is damaged in any way.

We are excited about the new activities and services we will be able to offer our students through this grant, and hope you are too! Our annual government report will be due at the end of July 2016.

For More Information
If you have questions about the grant or data collection required for the grant, or if you would like to serve as a parent member of the project’s Grant Advisory Board, please contact:

Jason Hasty, PEP Grant Manager, 495-5200, x1263, or jhasty@putnamcityschools.org