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June 7, 2007

Kinesiology department brings $860,000 in new PEP grants to NE LA

The University of Louisiana at Monroe kinesiology department has organized two new Physical Education Program collaborative grants, totaling $860,000, with the Tensas Parish School Board and the Caldwell Parish School Board.

Tensas Parish received a 3-year, $370,000 PEP grant, and Caldwell Parish a 3-year, $490,000 grant, both awarded by the Carol M. White Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education. The goal is to promote a K – 12 physical education curriculum that teaches fitness and health concepts without sacrificing movement or activity.

The grants were also collaborated with Focused Fitness, a group of teachers out of Spokane, Wash.

“In Caldwell Parish, our funds have been limited in regards to acquiring equipment needed for physical education,” said Mary Stephens, secondary supervisor for the school district. “We have not previously had elementary PE teachers. The school system has hired the teachers, but without the equipment and professional development, they would not be as effective. This grant will allow them to implement and address the content standards developed by the state. It will also affect junior high and high school, where we have the teachers, by providing them with the equipment and training needed for quality programs. This also fits in with our fitness and nutrition plan. We are very pleased to receive this grant. We couldn’t do what we needed to do for our PE programs without it.”

The Tensas Parish grant, known as Raising Educational Achievement through Children’s Health (REACH) will provide a research-based fitness- and nutrition-centered curriculum for students, focusing on lifetime wellness.

“Our students will hopefully gain a degree of fitness and health which will promote healthy lifestyles and healthy choices throughout their lives,” said Carol Johnson, Tensas Parish superintendent. “The grant provides professional development and training for our teachers to deliver the curriculum, and it will allow us to purchase much needed equipment to implement activities and programs. We are very excited about receiving this grant. It is something our parish desperately needs for our children. We could not have done this without Dr. Campbell, and we are very appreciative of the support from ULM.”

The kinesiology department has now organized three PEP grants in Northeast Louisiana in the past two years. The first, a $1 million, 3-year grant, began in 2006 and allows Monroe City schools to promote interactive workshops and exchange of information. The schools’ physical education specialists and classroom teachers take information from the students and are using it to affect curriculum.

By the grant’s conclusion, there should be a physical education specialist-teacher at every Monroe City school, whereas before, there were no PE teachers in any Monroe public elementary facility.

All three grants are using the Five for Life Program developed by Focused Fitness, regarded as a 21st century physical education curriculum allowing for “an innovative, articulated, collaborative, cutting edge research base,” according to Wilson Campbell, head of the kinesiology department.

“Physical fitness is the winner. We get to implement and upgrade physical education programs that will have a positive impact on a large group of people. That makes our job even more fun and exciting.”

For further information, contact Campbell at (318) 342-1306 or

For more information about Focused Fitness, go to:

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