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SAISD awarded $1.5 million grant to expand innovative PE program

SAISD awarded $1.5 million grant to expand innovative PE program

The San Antonio Independent School District has been awarded $1.5 million grant to expand the physical education program in all schools, with a focus on the innovative class PE3: PE for the Mind, Body & Spirit program, which puts students on a path to good health with daily exercise and nutrition guidance.

The program, which targets childhood and teen obesity, is currently offered at the district’s high schools but a limited number of classes are offered. The grant funding will allow SAISD to serve more high school students by expanding the PE3 concept to other physical education classes and to implement the program at middle schools and elementary schools.

PE3 isn’t a typical physical education class. During class, students will get active with Zumba, a popular dance fitness program, and wear heart monitors to help track their progress toward fitness. Outside of class, they will wear pedometers and record their activity in an online journal. Students also will learn about nutrition, and will take a trip to the local grocery store to study ingredient labels.

“This grant will provide our SAISD students with the resources to become healthier and will allow families to be more involved with their children’s health,” said Roger Rodriguez, the district’s senior coordinator for health and physical education.

Rodriguez developed the innovative course, which was approved by the Texas Education Agency for use by other Texas districts. SAISD will receive the grant funding over three years. Next school year, the PE3 grant will focus on middle schools and then elementary schools in 2013-2014. However, all campuses will receive funds for new PE equipment, as well as professional development at the state physical education conference.

The grant funding will allow all physical education teachers to be trained in new moderate-to-vigorous physical activities. In addition to the training, the grant will pay for the pedometers, the digital heart rate monitoring systems, physical education supplies, laptops and projectors.

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