BETHLEHEM — Bethlehem Central Middle School is one of 150 semi-finalists competing for a $25,000 grant from Project Fit America for new fitness equipment, but the students need votes to win. Supporters can cast one vote each day between Friday, Jan. 5 and Wednesday, Jan. 31.
The 150 schools from New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey were chosen to submit a 500 word essay to be considered for the final voting phase beginning tomorrow. The four schools with the most votes throughout January will each receive a $25,000 grant for the Project Fit America program. This includes state of the art outdoor fitness equipment, $7,000 cash stipend to help pay for installation of that equipment, indoor PE equipment, curriculum, lesson plan supplies, and on site training at the school with a PFA Trainer. This grant, sponsored by Dannon Yogurt, is for PE Teachers to support their overall comprehensive physical education program.
According to PFA, the total funding required to sponsor a pilot and model school program is $18,206. This is inclusive of the entire two-year program with absolutely no hidden or additional costs. The goal is to create new and sustainable opportunities for kids to be active, fit and healthy as part of the everyday school experience. This is accomplished through educational programs and equipment, that will allow the school to successfully teach fitness education year after year. PFA will provide and implement the following components at the selected schools:
|1.||State-of-the-art outdoor, above ground fitness equipment. UCLA specifically designed to address all the deficit areas where children fail fitness tests. The equipment becomes the permanent property of the school. Shipping to the school site is also provided.|
|2.||Indoor Mobile Fitness Equipment. The Indoor fitness equipment is mobile, as indoor facilities vary from school to school. Some have gyms, other use multipurpose rooms, and so on. Indoor equipment consists of the following:|
|3.||Lesson Plan Support Materials:|
|4.||Core Curriculum. Created by former Project Fit America grant recipients for future Project Fit America grant recipients. Lessons have Essential Questions for students and NASPE standards for each lesson are clearly identified. This book has also been approved by the Science Committee of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a partnership between the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation.|
|5.||Teacher training at the school site with PE Mentor Teacher from PFA. An all day, eight-hour session to commence the program in year one and a second all day booster session in year two. The PFA Mentor Teacher is assigned to school for a two-year period and works both on site as well as via mobile and online. This allows each school to progress and sustain their programming to higher levels and allows for the kind of support needed to launch any new endeavor. If needed, a substitute teacher fee is paid to the school to aid support to the PE teacher(s) on the day of the in-service.|
|6.||Testing and Evaluation. PFA staff works directly with each school to assure the measurement component is fulfilled. Each school will pre- and post-test one class at three different grade levels and follow those students through the program. The data is analyzed by Sonoma State University, Department of Mathematics and Statistical Consulting and reports are compiled for each school, as well as national school averages.|
|7.||Custom Grant Program for each sponsor’s service area for school site selection (Dannon, in this case).|
|Unless a sponsor has an existing relationship with a school partner(s), PFA typically conducts a custom grant program for school site selection. Each sponsor gives us the geographic area where they want this program implemented and we will invite all schools, grades K-8, to apply to be the school(s) selected as your exemplary partner and model for fitness in education. This is a competitive process that creates a level playing field and allows for each school to share their story. Each applicant creates an academic plan for incorporation of fitness in education, assure teacher “buy in” and school wide commitment to creating sustainable programming to assure generations of students are impacted by this program.|
|8.||Community Outreach. PFA will work with sponsorship to create events and activities, meant to engage the parents and community to focus on their own personal health and that of their children. This will include guest speakers at the school, a family lecture series on health topics, and support from media as well as civic and state leaders. Typically these events and activities include and highlight the sponsoring organization. We will host a community wide media gallery and ribbon ceremony to dedicate the program and have the students provide a demonstration of their new found fitness skills and talents. Parents, teachers, civic and state leaders, and media will take part in this host event.|
Vote online beginning Friday by visiting: http://