EnergyNow! Announces Grants for Schools to Combat Childhood Obesity

Thursday, October 18, 2007 General News
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NEW YORK, Oct. 17 EnergyNow!, an alliance comprised ofleading authorities in the physical education, nutrition and fitnesstechnology fields, today announced the availability of physical educationgrants to help schools in the tri-state New York area combat childhood obesitythrough a results-based program.

In an effort to energize and motivate children to participate in regularphysical activity and healthy eating habits, EnergyNow! will build physicaleducation and nutrition education programs that are doable, sustainable andeffective. This results-based program will allow physical educators tocollect valid and reliable data to monitor student progress and theirprogram's effectiveness throughout the year. The program's resources willalso serve as the foundation for students to lead active and healthierlifestyles by providing physical activity and nutrition education lessons thatcan be applied to their everyday lives.

"The EnergyNow! alliance recognizes that increasing students' physicalactivity level is critical to effectively address childhood obesity," saidCharlene Burgeson, alliance chair, EnergyNow!. "The grants will providephysical education teachers with training along with the needed resources tomonitor student progress and track results throughout the year."

The grants will provide critical funding for schools to purchase physicaleducation equipment based on their specific needs and schools will receiveheart rate monitors, assessment technology and training provided by Polar, amanufacturer of fitness products. Additionally, the School NutritionFoundation will provide a set of nutrition education lessons that include alifestyle approach to eating habits based on actual cafeteria choices and theNational Association for Sport and Physical Education will give training onthe National Standards for Physical Education. Information packets will alsobe distributed to grant recipients that include additional resources anddetails about various activities, contests and promotions available throughEnergyNow!.

An estimated 17 percent of children and adolescents from ages 2-19 yearsare overweight according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,which has declared childhood obesity a national epidemic. The National Centerfor Health Statistics reports that almost one in four children do notparticipate in any free-time physical activity.

"We know that when students are personally engaged, positive change cantake place," said Burgeson. "This program focuses on results and aims toengage students by energizing and motivating them to get physically active andeat healthy."

In the first year, public middle schools in New York, New Jersey andConnecticut will be eligible to apply for the grants which are valued at morethan $12,000 each. The pilot program will award 10 grants. Eligibilityrequirements include state certification requirements for physical educationteachers, a standards-based curriculum in place and an agreement toparticipate in various grant activities and professional development trainingsthroughout the grant period, among others.

The program's evaluation committee will review and score each grantsubmission and the winning schools will be announced in December 2007. Thedeadline to apply for the grant is November 12, 2007. For a detailed list ofeligibility requirements or to apply for the EnergyNow! grant

The EnergyNow! alliance includes the National Association for Sport andPhysical Education (NASPE), the preeminent national authority on physicaleducation and a recognized leader in sport and physical activity; the SchoolNutrition Foundation, which supports professional development and outreachprograms for their sister organization, the national, non-profit SchoolNutrition Association (SNA); and Polar, the leading manufacturer of heart ratemonitors and fitness

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