Insight Grants

Kenston School District Play Blue in Motion Community Day!

Back in 2010, the Insight Team had the privilege of working with the folks at Kenston Local School District in Ohio to complete a needs assessment for, write, and submit a Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP) grant. We were thrilled when Kenston’s grant was awarded for the full requested amount of $677,706 for Year 1, and $53,894 per year for Years 2 and 3!

Kenston’s program is known as Play Blue (Promoting Learning for Active Youth). The district has put the funds to great use through district-wide programming that includes an ongoing process for involving district staff and community members and partners in decision-making, implementation of wide-spread physical activity and healthy eating policy changes, and brand new age-appropriate fitness centers at each of their five school buildings.

Policy changes include instituting use of uniform assessments for Physical Education district wide, implementing “Brain Breaks” (breaks for physical activity during core academic classes) for all grades, and numerous changes in Food Service. Impressively, Kenston’s Food Service participates in the Farm to School program and purchases primarily locally grown produce, makes available and clearly labels foods for students with special dietary needs (including but not limited to Gluten-Free and Vegetarian options), and has ensured all beverage and food vending options are in compliance with recommendations made by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.

The fitness centers serve all 3,100 students in the district in grades K through 12. Centers include a mix of standard cardiovascular fitness equipment (treadmills, stationary bikes, ellipticals, etc.), exergaming equipment (physically active video games), and strength training equipment (sand bells, climbing walls, obstacle course elements, Railyard, etc.) appropriate to the grades of the students served by each.

As part of the Play Blue initiative, Kenston held the 1st Annual Play Blue in Motion community wellness day on April 15, 2012. The event was planned as a way for local community residents and families to see all of the new fitness equipment, learn more about the program, and pick up some healthy tips for themselves. Kenston even had  a special appearance by 1996 US Olympic Gold Medal gymnast Dominique Moceanu. The event brought together members of the community, families, students, and local businesses and turned out to be a great success!

Kenston put together a nice slideshow from the Play Blue in Motion community day, which had over 1300 attendees! Watch it here:


You may be wondering, “But does it work?” The answer is a resounding yes! Kenston is reporting a tremendous increase in the percentage of students who are active for at least 60 minutes every day.

Great job, Kenston!


Police Athletic League PEP Grant Video

Insight has the privilege of serving as the grant evaluator for the Police Athletic League’s (PAL) 2010 PEP Grant entitled PAL PEP!. Over the past two years, we have been thoroughly enjoying collaborating with the great folks that work for PAL and watching the already-strong programs they offer expand and evolve to include solid, comprehensive, and FUN physical and nutrition education components. PAL’s Harlem Center has partnered with the Public School 180 (the school with the greatest number of students taking part in program activities), at least 11 other neighborhood schools, Harlem Seeds, FC Harlem, Bike NY, Healthy Schools/Healthy Families, NYC Police Department, the Office of NYC Councilwoman Inez Dickens, the NYC Department of Health, and others to operate a PEP project that includes an afterschool program, a summer program, and an innovative lunchtime physical education program. Evaluation results to date have consistently shown that the percentage of students who are physically active for 60 minutes daily, achieving age-appropriate cardiovascular fitness, and enjoying and increasing their engagement in physical fitness activities has increased and continues to rise!

Check out the video about their program that the PAL team put together! It includes commentary from the Assistant Principal of PS 180, PAL staff, and active kids participating in PAL PEP!


The PAL PEP! program is designed to give students from Central Harlem opportunities to take part in a variety of activities designed to improve their health, increase their physical fitness, and develop lifelong healthy habits.

The Police Athletic League also recently did a flash mob with participation from about 200 kids and adults in support of another project. Watch it here:



Insight Grants