Second Year of PEP Grant Funding Begins with the School Year

23 Sep 2015 9:55 AM | Deleted user

 

Second Year of PEP Grant Funding begins with the school year

 

The new school year is beginning and so is the second year of the Carol M. White Physical Education Program Grant awarded to Healthy Community Coalition (HCC) and area schools to expand physical activity opportunities for students. The grant titled, “Franklin County Youth Bringing Home the Gold,” was awarded in May 2014 for three years and includes Mt. Blue RSD, MSAD #58, and Flagstaff RSU schools.

 

The goals of the PEP grant are to:

a)      increase daily physical activity for all students

b)      increase the number of students who consume the recommended daily amounts of fruits and vegetables

c)      improve physical education and nutrition education curriculum

 

The PEP grant offers the schools a number of opportunities to improve the daily physical activity and nutrition education for students. Before and after-school activities, equipment for physical education and classroom learning, and professional development for staff to teach best practices and lead upcoming activities are part of the grant.

 

Letters to parents will be going out from local schools explaining the data collection process and requesting their permission for their child to participate. If you want your child to participate, you don’t need to return the form. However, if you DON’T want your child to participate, it is very important to return the form to the school. HCC only collects data from students we have permission for and data is never reported on an individual. In addition to the letter, there is a photo release form from Franklin Community Health Network that needs to be completed by parents so we may use photos in any media opportunities promoting the PEP Grant activities at school or in the communities.

 

What data will we be collecting?

1)      Schools will be doing fitness testing at the end of September through mid-October, and HCC will use this data to measure progress on the group as a whole including aerobic capacity, muscle strength, endurance, flexibility, and body composition.

2)      Some students who are selected through a random sample process will be asked to wear an activity monitor watch which will measure how many steps they take per day and what level of physical activity they achieve (light, moderate to vigorous, very vigorous).

3)      HCC will also conduct a student survey on how many fruits and vegetables they are eating.

 

“These pieces of data give us information about what types of curriculum changes are needed in schools and afterschool programs and are extremely valuable,” said Laurie Soucy, HCC PEP grant director. “We also use this information to teach students about their own personal health and well-being.

 

“Fitness equipment was ordered and recently installed and the areas are gearing up for student use; the schools have made a lot of accommodations so this can happen,” Soucy added. “This will help students improve their fitness scores to meet the grant objectives.”

 

The grant will also fund schools to opportunities to take field trips to participate in a physical activity or nutrition related educational experiences such as supermarket tours, skiing, and trips to local farms.

 

In addition, there will be afterschool programming in the coming months at various schools and community venues that will offer opportunities to students (from RSU 9, MSAD 58, Stratton School and home-schooled students who are registered with any of these districts) to practice what they are learning in school and to learn new skills.  For example, we will be planning again to work with Titcomb Mountain to offer free ski nights again, and opportunities for swim lessons at UMF Fitness and Recreation Center.

 

One initiative of the PEP Grant is to get schools to enroll in the 5210 Let’s Go! program to get credit for things they are already doing to promote healthy lifestyles with children and their families. We will be working closely with Molly Clark, of HCC to make this happen. 5210 Let’s Go! offers some great tips to classroom teachers and for afterschool or out of school programs that are free for the asking. The PEP grant will also support some purchases of needed equipment or supplies to carry this out.

 

For questions regarding the grant or the required data collection, please contact Laurie Soucy at lsoucy@fchn.org or (207) 779-2924.

 

About Healthy Community Coalition of Greater Franklin County

Healthy Community Coalition of Greater Franklin County, founded in 1989, is one of the oldest health coalitions in the country. Its mission is to measurably improve the wellbeing of all people in Greater Franklin County and neighboring towns using a coordinated public health approach of education, promotion, and outreach. With its qualified staff of public health professionals, Healthy Community Coalition offers health screenings, health information, programs and events to support healthy lifestyles that prevent disease and improve quality of life.  Its community outreach efforts appear in every town and corner of the region. For more information, please visit www.fchn.org/hcc.

 

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