Norris partners with ESU 6 schools to win PE & Fitness Federal Grant

Norris partners with ESU 6 schools to win PE & Fitness Federal Grant

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Norris School District has begun implementation of a “Rural Nebraska on the Move” federal “PEP” (Physical Education Program) grant that is bringing over $1.2 million in competitively won federal funds to Norris and five other partner school districts. The grant’s fiscal agent is Educational Service Unit #6 out of Milford, with Norris High School teacher Jane Hansmeyer taking the helm as Project Director for the grant’s initial implementation. Hansmeyer has extensive experience in the health and wellness arena as the Chair of Norris’ Coordinated School Health Council and has been involved in student health initiatives in the district and state including Nebraska’s Action For Healthy Kids, Fuel Up To Play 60, the Healthier US Schools Challenge competition, and local staff wellness initiatives.

The grant will include a comprehensive rollout in partner districts of health, nutrition, and PE training and equipment for staff and students to increase the level of consistency in best practices educationally in key target areas such as nutritional awareness and fitness. The goals of the grant are to improve students’ physical activity as measured by the percentage of students achieving 60 minutes of daily physical activity and increase consumption of nutritious foods such as upping the baseline percentage of students who consume fruit and vegetables two or more times per day.

Key project initiatives around the grant include the use of Fitnessgram to help students set personally meaningful fitness goals and target the “Healthy Fit Zone” for strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular fitness. In addition, students will see direct benefits from the SPARK PE program as teachers institute various elements of this curriculum, including classroom based “brain-breaks” that engage kids through movement.

Said Grant Coordinator Jane Hansmeyer, “The teachers involved in this initiative are assets in education. They know their subject matter is important and they are excited to afford others the opportunity to experience the value of it.” She continued, “We are thankful to have the grant funds to afford these PE teachers the opportunity to take advantage of trainings, materials and equipment through the PEP Grant.” Mrs. Hansmeyer concluded, “We are all excited to see this develop - and the PE teachers are also.”

Other partner districts with Norris in the ESU-administered PEP grant include Dorchester, Exeter Milligan, Friend, Milford, and McCool Junction.