Key Things To Do
- FIRST, Read Everything!—Read the entire call for applications; highlight items, tab pages, write notes, and make a list of questions
- Make it Clear—Make sure that your LEA or CBO truly knows what it wants to accomplish as a result of implementing a PEP grant
- Have a Strategy—Familiarize yourself with the review/scoring categories to understand what is most important to the funding agency (USDE) and how the reviewers will be scoring
- Give the "Big Picture"— Each individual PEP grant is part of the overall PEP grant program which is striving to achieve common goals such as development of a strong and sustainable infrastructure for physical education and nutrition instruction; linkages with other youth/school/community physical activity and healthy eating initiatives; active, fit, and healthy youth; and overweight and obesity prevention. Understand that the USDE put a lot of thought into writing a call for applications that is based on current research and best practices, and the more closely that your application addresses all priorities and requirements, the more likely you are to receive maximum scoring points
- Be a Go-Getter – When you see language in the call for applications such as "invited," "requested," "suggested," "may," "should" or similar, fully consider addressing the related items in your narrative (project plan). These words imply that addressing the related item is optional; however, by virtue of the fact that the item was included in the call for applications, it is probably desirable to the granting agency (USDE) and may make your application more competitive
- Be Authentic—Write your narrative (project plan) based on your LEA's or CBO's needs and vision; use your data, stories, and examples
- Tell a Story—Remember that your application (project plan) needs to "tell a story" that the reviewers can understand and get excited about; ask a number of non-physical educators to read and comment on your draft application
- Make it Easy to Understand and Like your Plan—Develop your narrative like a clear road map; capitalize or underline sections and subsections of your text
- Enlist the Experts—Use an evaluation expert to assist you with your evaluation plan; budget for that person(s) to serve as the project evaluator(s) if your project is funded
- Be Thorough—Include every required federal form in your application
- Stay Positive—Remember that approximately 95 LEAs/CBOs will be funded and you CAN be one of the grant recipients!
PEP is a grant program of the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) not NASPE. Our tips are based on careful review of the FY10 PEP grant call for applications and the Federal Register Notice of Final Priorities, Requirements, and Definitions (February 26, 2013) and on our experience with writing and winning federal grants (over $13 million) as well as serving as a federal grant reviewer.
NASPE has no information about the PEP grant program other than what is published in the Federal Register and call for applications, no authority over the PEP grant program, and no influence over the review/scoring/selection process. The call for applications provides definitive information about the grant program.