JAY – Jay Schools if one of 6 schools in Oklahoma to receive a 2009 Physical Education Program Grant, providing students with exercise equipment to enhance their existing exercise programs.

Nationwide, 102 schools qualified for the grant this year. “These grants are difficult to get and Jay schools is very fortunate to have been approved for one,” said PEP Grant Coordinator Chris Bozarth.

The grant, received this school year, has already been put to good use. The schools have purchased exercise equipment and two rock climbing walls. “We’re also looking at purchasing more equipment in the future. This is a 3-year grant and we’ll be adding to the existing equipment through the next two years,” Bozarth added.

The equipment is set up in both the Jay elementary and middle school gyms. The rock climbing wall in the elementary gym is 8 feet tall. The wall at the middle school is 10’ tall. During times when the students are not in the physical education class, the walls are covered with mats. During times of use, the mats lie on the floor in case a child should fall.

An exercise room at the middle school now houses 10 new pieces of exercise equipment purchased through a Tulsa based company. Students use the equipment throughout the day including those students involved in athletic programs.

PEP Grants provide money to organizations and schools to enhance physical education programs, including after-school programs for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. The grant funds may be used to provide equipment and support to help students actively participate in physical education activities. The funds may also be used to support staff and teacher training and education.

The grant program is managed by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe & Drug-Free Schools. Since the PEP grants in 2001, nearly 1,000 school districts from across the United States have received grants totaling approximately $600 million.