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North Crawford Schools receive large health and wellness grant
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The North Crawford School District was awarded $323,553 for the 2012 Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP) Grant to enhance its physical education program, school nutrition program and promote healthy lifestyles. 

The PEP Grant from the U.S. Department of Education was given to just 56 schools nationwide this year from a pool of more than 500 applicants. The funding will ensure district students are more physically active and encourage them to make healthy nutritional choices, according to school officials familiar with the grant. 

“I am thrilled at the knowledge of this award and pleased at the wonderful equipment and opportunities it will provide for our students,” said Dr. Davies, the North Crawford School District Administrator.

The North Crawford Fitness Force, the district’s wellness committee, was formed in the spring of 2010. The committee has been working hard to promote health and wellness for the past two years. 

The Fitness Force has begun several programs already, such last year’s Movin’ and Munchin’ Program, aimed at promoting healthy living. The district was even awarded a $250 grant from the U.S. Department of Education for their participation in that program. 

The North Crawford Fitness Force certainly played a noteworthy role in securing the recently awarded PEP Grant. The addition of this significant award will give this initiative a real driving force, according to those involved with the wellness committee’s work.

Tarasa Lown, the PEP Grant’s Director, explained the intent of the grant is to promote lifelong habits of health and wellness through our enhanced physical education curriculum and nutrition programs. It is also expected that this grant effort will positively impact student performance in the classroom. 

“This is going to be a great opportunity for our school district to impact the students and families that make up North Crawford School District,” said Judd Eastman, North Crawford’s Middle and High School Physical Education/Health Instructor, in response to the award.” “I am excited for this life-changing grant and what it will do for our physical education program by allowing us to move to the forefront of physical education.”

Enhancements to the district’s physical education curriculum and nutrition programs could include:

• technologies, such as: pedometers, fitbits, Fitnessgram software, and heart rate monitors

• new state-of-the-art fitness equipment, including I-Dance, weights, cardio machines, stationary bikes, elliptical machines and treadmills

• outdoor pursuit equipment including mountain bikes, snowshoes, cross country skis, archery, orienteering equipment, and portable disc-golf equipment 

• expanded nutrition curricula, strengthening of local partnerships, and promotional activities designed to encourage nutritious eating habits

The North Crawford School District thanked many community partners who provided letters of support for the PEP Grant application.

Without the support of those listed above, this project would not be possible.  North Crawford School District is also pleased to have utilized the services of Starfish Consulting, owned and operated by Carol Roth, of Soldiers Grove, to facilitate the development of North Crawford’s grant application.  

The Carol M. White Physical Education Program provides grants through the U.S. Department of Education to local education agencies and community-based organizations to initiate, expand, or enhance physical education programs, including after-school programs, for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Grant recipients must implement programs that help students make progress toward meeting state standards. Funds may be used to provide equipment and support to enable students to participate actively in physical education activities. Funds also may support staff and teacher training and education.