One of the challenges for educators is finding sources of money to provide resources and support to develop and expand help for health, nutrition and physical education programs. In many instances, teachers may hear that due to budget cuts in the upcoming fiscal year, funding will be have to wait until next year for another funding opportunity. But, there is hope if you look in the right direction and find avenues to accrue funding. The first order of business is to make a plan, which will serve as a foundation for success. Part of that scenario is to find ideas to maximize your budget to create a marketing plan.
Before the search begins, you must have a project that aligns to the needs of the school. This comes in the form of a grant, which must fit and be aligned with the funding agencies priorities. The search will continue to find information about granting agencies and programs. This will be finalized in the grant writing procedure to provide information about the project's purpose, how it will be implemented, the results you expect, the total budget, goals and objectives, and the amount of the request.
Funding is an integral part to any successful program. At the local level: communicate with the schools PTA, community grants, and matching medical grants. On the state level: look for Endowment grants, hospital matching grants, grocery chain matching grants, and food service grants. At the national level: PEP grant, Hershey, Robert Woods Foundation, and sport team grants. At the International level: Health and Wellness grants and Technology. Don't overlook small corporations as they have an interest in their community where their own employees live. Department stores, such as Walmart and Target can provide grants, and all you have to do is meet with the supervisor.
Fran Zavacky, Senior Program Director with CDC at Naspe states, " Success stories about your success supported by our assistance show return on investment and keeps justifying funding." She mentions that success stories demonstrate the reach and impact, as do programs in schools. She said," Data is everything, and first hand stories about the results of your work is priceless." The current obesity crisis plays a role to garner grants from agencies to promote physical activity, outdoor play and healthy lifestyles for children and their families. The CDC has recommended community strategies to prevent obesity that provides information about healthy foods and encourages communities for more physical activity. The Robert Woods Foundation recommends strategies for nutritious food and defines roles to promote a collaboration among business, community, schools and families to combat obesity.
Not to be overlooked is the influence by athletes and entertainers, who are responsible for donations and fund raising opportunities. They may be contacted for equipment and programs such as the Play60 Challenge, which is aligned with the American Heart Association. This includes Jump Rope for Heart and Hoops programs. Teachers can be event coordinators for raising donations online from their fund raising web pages. Nonprofit organizations can combat obesity with the help from United Health Heroes grants , which is an initiative by United Health Care and Youth America to develop programs to promote healthy living and eating.
Carol M. White Physical Education Program(PEP): This is a Discretionary/Competitive Grant to provide grants to LEA's and community based organizations to enhance physical education and after school programs for grades , K-12. The programs must be implemented to help students meet state standards. The funds are appropriated to provide equipment for the students to participate actively in physical education activities. Teacher training and education for support staff are included in the grant. Playing a vital ingredient to the PEP grant and ensuing information is SPARK , which is the world's most researched physical education program , and a division of School Specialty to ensure children lead active and healthy lives. The Spark grant funding resource is a valuable tool to find available funding options, which includes the award amount, deadlines, and information where to find the grants. Spark maintains that it will continue to advocate the (PEP) bill , and hopefully the plea to Congress will be a continual funding in 2013.
American Academy of Dermatology's Shade Structure Grant Program awards grants up to $8000 each for purchase of shade structures for (UV) protection. There should be a commitment to demonstrate skin safety and awareness programs.
AAHPERD Jump Rope For Heart Grant Program : The Jump Rope for Heart program is supported by AAHPERD in the form of a $1200 grant to purchase equipment and to develop the physical education program. At this time, the applications are closed, but look for the application for 2013 that will be posted online.
Peaceful Playgrounds : Here is an exceptional program that was part of a success story as part of the (PEP) grant award for improving physical fitness. The awarded school in Illinois received a playground - paint makeover with lines and shapes that is conducive for student achievement and wellness. The Peaceful Playground web page is a valuable tool for grant writing tips, templates and easy to use training resources.
Active Schools Acceleration Project(ASAP): The focus is on an innovation competition for funding in technology, health, nutrition, and child obesity. Teams are made up with employees of the school district, such as a teacher, school official, coach or health educator. The project is an initiative of Child Obesity180. The categories to garner the award is on a regional and national level that have a passion for an active and healthy lifestyle.
There are a plethora of funding opportunities to choose from, but with a little leg work , you can find that "diamond" in the rough to help your school. Just peer somewhere and it will be available , whether it be from the parent/teacher groups, local foundations, state organizations, professional societies, or national companies; it will be close by - check out Rotary Clubs, Dairy Associations, 4H clubs, Sam's Club or your favorite sports star that can donate equipment...or the YMCA. My Scenario: walked into Walmart and asked for the cardboard cut outs/displays , ended up receiving carpet squares and discarded hula hoops and on the way out, asked for a donation and left with a $50 grant.