The Beaverton School District was awarded a $669,484 Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP) Grant from the U.S. Department of Education in October of 2016. The Carol M. White Physical Education Program provided grants to Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) and community-based organizations (CBOs) to initiate, expand, or enhance physical education programs, including before school, after school, and summer programs for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.
The grant was completed in September of 2019. With the grant, the District implemented a comprehensive project to improve the quality of physical education in the District, increase physical activity before, during, and after school, and create a school culture of wellness and activity that improves student health, nutrition, social/emotional development, and learning outcomes.
The BSD program served more than 28,000 students in all 43 of elementary and middle schools throughout the District, and provided equipment and curriculum to support fitness and nutrition support. Project objectives included:
- Integrating movement and student activity throughout the day to boost attention, engagement, and academic performance
- Integrating nutrition standards and instruction into PE classes
- Improving the quality and consistency of PE offerings across the District.
One major project funded by the grant is the Marathon Kids program. Currently, 11 elementary schools have Marathon Kids running clubs in which they track the number of miles students run. Of the 11 clubs, seven of the participating schools are conducting Marathon Kids in classrooms, during the school day. At the majority of the schools, the volunteer-run program takes place after school. The grant funded training for staff and scholarships for runner participation at lower income schools. Marathon Kids has increased student’s overall fitness, health and wellness, as well as made them calmer and more focused learners.
At the middle school level, the PEP grant supported fit labs with equipment like rowing machines,
stationary bikes and other circuit training equipment.
“The PEP Grant has set the District up for the new Physical Education adoption that take place next year. Staff have been engaged in professional development that has made all the difference in teaching fitness and nutrition,” says Cheryl Wardell, TOSA K - 12 Physical Education. “This grant has allowed us to get on equitable ground with necessary professional development and equipment needed to teach physical fitness and nutrition.”
In addition to the grant funds, the District has developed several community partnerships that supported the project. Nike contributed $200,000 to support Marathon Kids running clubs, sports and athletic equipment and field day activities at select schools. Additional partners include: Portland Trailblazers, Stages Cycling, the City of Beaverton, and Kaiser Permanente.