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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
EnergyNow! Announces New Grant Funding to Combat Childhood Obesity
EnergyNow!, an alliance comprised of leading authorities in the physical education and fitness technology fields, today announced the availability of a second round of new physical education grants to help schools in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington D.C. combat childhood obesity through a results-based program. The success of the program's first year in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, where 10 schools received EnergyNow! grants, was instrumental in expanding the grant program to schools in the six new states.
An estimated 17 percent of children and adolescents from ages 2-19 years are overweight according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has declared childhood obesity a national epidemic. The National Center for Health Statistics reports that almost one in four children do not participate in any free-time physical activity.
In an effort to energize and motivate children to participate in regular physical activity, EnergyNow! will build physical education programs that are sustainable and effective. This results-based grant program will allow physical educators to collect valid and reliable data to monitor student progress and their program's effectiveness throughout the year. The program's resources will also serve as the foundation for students to lead active and healthier lifestyles by providing physical activity lessons that can be applied to their everyday lives.
"We know that in order to make significant progress in reversing childhood obesity, we must continue to educate children about the importance of physical activity and quality exercise," said Charlene Burgeson, alliance chair, EnergyNow!. "By incorporating technology like heart rate monitors, the program focuses on results and aims to motivate and engage students on a more personal level."
The grants will provide critical funding for schools to purchase physical education equipment based on their specific needs and schools will receive heart rate monitors, assessment technology and training provided by Polar, a manufacturer of fitness products. The National Association for Sport and Physical Education will also provide training on the National Standards for Physical Education.
In the program's second year, public middle schools in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington D.C. will be eligible to apply for the grants which are valued at more than $12,000 each. EnergyNow! will award a total of 10 grants to schools in these states. Eligibility requirements include state certification requirements for physical education teachers, and a standards-based curriculum in place, among others.
"After a very successful first year, we're excited to have the opportunity to work with more schools and to provide physical education teachers with the tools they need to monitor, track, assess student fitness data throughout the year," said Burgeson. "The EnergyNow! program and the lessons that these students are learning will help students to improve their health and their lives."
The program's evaluation committee will review and score each grant submission and the winning schools will be announced in July. The deadline to apply for the grant is May 5, 2008. For a detailed list of eligibility requirements or to apply for the EnergyNow! grant visit www.energynow.com.
EnergyNow! is a results-based grant program that will enable schools to combat the alarming trend towards obesity in children with an emphasis on building physical education programs that are doable, sustainable and effective. The EnergyNow! alliance includes the National Association of Physical Sport and Education (NASPE), the preeminent national authority on physical education and a recognized leader in sport and physical activity; and Polar, the leading manufacturer of heart rate monitors and fitness assessment technology that has a 10-year history of providing high-tech tools to schools across the country. For more information on the program or available grants through EnergyNow! visit, www.energynow.com.
CooperKatz for EnergyNow!
Paula Keyes Kun
Society of Health and Physical Educators