The U.S. Department of Education has announced the recipients of $80 million in Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP) grants. New PEP grants, totaling $36.1 million, will be distributed to 76 school districts and community-based organizations across the country. The balance of $43.9 million will be used to fund multiyear PEP grants awarded in 2008 and 2009. The average new PEP grant is $475,000, and the money will be used to purchase fitness and sports equipment, as well as to train and encourage innovation among physical education teachers. States receiving the most PEP grants are California (13), Wisconsin (10) and New York (9).
The $80 million is the highest funding level PEP has received during its 10-year existence, bringing the total amount provided via PEP since 2001 to more than $600 million. "As school budgets are cut, PEP funding is critical in order to support innovative physical education programs around the country," says Bill Sells, vice president of the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, which along with the nonprofit P.E.4Life organization, was instrumental in the inception of the PEP grant. SGMA also leads lobbying efforts during National Health Through Fitness Day each March. Recent SGMA research indicates that children who participate in physical education are more likely to be active in team sports and to remain active as adults.
Click here for a complete list of the 2010 PEP grant recipients in 25 states.