Insight Grants

New Content on Polar USA: SHI, Research Grants, and US Department of Education (FY) 2015 Discretionary Grant Program Articles

Our friends over at Polar USA recently published three new articles that we’ve written, “The SHI: Creating a Snapshot of School Health for Improvement Purposes”,  “Should I Apply for a Research Grant?”, and “US Department of Education 2015 Forecast of Funding.”  All three articles can be found under the Helpful Information for Grant Seekers section on Polar’s website.

The article on the CDC’s School Health Index (SHI) covers the basics of the tool as well as noting recently-made changes and some helpful tips for getting the most out of it. The research grant article is a must-read for individuals and organizations considering whether to apply for a research grant. The US Department of Education (ED) recently began updating it’s Discretionary Grant Programs for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015, and the article covers how schools can best use the tool for a planning guide.

See the articles here.

New Content on Polar USA: Summer Plans For School-Year Success With Grants!

Our friends over at Polar USA just published our Summer Plans for School-Year Success With Grants! article. We think it is worth a read for all schools. Whether you are planning to apply for a grant in 2014/15 or are just thinking about grant opportunities, you will find some helpful tips on how you can get a head start this summer.

See the article here.

Useful Resource for Grant Seekers: Polar USA Funding & Grants Section

Polar Logo

This year we’ve been working with our long-term partner Polar USA to develop a very useful funding & grants section for grant seekers. If you are a physical educator looking for more information on grants in general, or anyone looking to implement a program with Polar products or services included, you will definitely benefit from this information. Even if you hadn’t thought about including Polar in a grant to this point, the site is worth a visit. The pages include an explanation of how to determine whether you are ready to begin applying for grants–and what to do if you aren’t ready yet, tips for applying for grants, information on Polar products and how they fit into grants and can support grant project success, current grant opportunities you can apply to, research reports of grants that span the full year and beyond, and other helpful content!

Insight is very pleased to have had the opportunity to work with Polar to share our knowledge and experience to create and present this helpful section. We hope that physical educators and other grant seekers will utilize the information now and in the future. Over the years we’ve seen several grant resources offered by many different groups, but the biggest flaw we see is that the information usually isn’t presented in a way that really supports the reader taking the full necessary series of next steps to apply for a grant in a truly competitive manner. For this reason, the Insight team has made it our goal to generate content that is actionable–even for grant seekers who are entirely new to the process. Visit often, as more content will be added throughout the year!

For those unfamiliar with Polar products, Polar makes outstanding heart rate monitors, activity monitors, and activity and fitness assessment tracking and reporting software (including wireless, iPad, and handheld device-friendly options),  in addition to offering high-quality product-related trainings. Polar products give physical educators the ability to assess students individually, efficiently, objectively, and in real time. Polar products have been implemented in countless schools and have played a major role in the drastic improvement of students’ personal fitness levels and increased PE class engagement time and time again. Polar also offers products and services to support individuals, health clubs and gyms, athletes and athletic teams, first responders, worksite wellness programs, and others. To learn more about Polar, see their full line of products, read about successes through their “Showcase Schools” section, and find out how to connect with their sales team, visit To read about products and services specific to your organization type, click on “Group Solutions” and then select the appropriate category: Physical Education, Club Solutions, Team Sports, Corporate Wellness & Health Care Professionals, Protective Services, or Equipment Manufacturers.

Spring 2014 Insight Company News and Notes

The Insight Team has been busy on a number of projects to start 2014. We hope the year has started off well for you. Here are some notes on current items our team has been working on.

  • We’ve been making an effort to highlight featured grant opportunities on the Insight blog. While the focus of the grants is often based around physical education, we will also be featuring and discussing a wide variety of grants that cover other industries and topics as well. We also offer some very helpful sources for finding grant opportunities online at our Find Grants page. If you are in the early stages of looking for grant opportunities, that is definitely a good place to start. To stay up to date with the ongoing opportunities we feature, you can subscribe to our blog via email or follow Insight Grants on twitter.
  • We’ve recently completed multiple grant proposals as well as editing for various clients. Project topics have varied from physical activity  to fire departments.  Although we can’t share details on these projects yet, we look forward to talking about some of the innovative and exciting projects if funding is awarded.
  • Working on applications for the Carol M. White PEP grant program is usually a big spring project for the Insight Team. With no new PEP competition in 2014, it’s important for those interested in physical activity funding to watch for other opportunities and maximize the time they have before the next competition (anticipated 2015). For more information, see our blog post titled, No 2014 PEP Competition?! What Do We Do Now? Applicants from 2013 that scored highly but did not win may be awarded PEP grants in 2014. We’ve started hearing about the first winners TODAY (4/8/2014), as some members of Congress have begun contacting winners in their constituencies. If you’ve won, you may or may not hear directly from Congress, but you WILL eventually hear directly from ED via email and/or mail and you would be listed on the awards list which should surface soon.
  • Speaking of PEP, although there is no guarantee of a 2015 PEP competition, we do anticipate one. We’ve already begun signing up and working with applicants interested in applying in 2015. With the competition becoming more and more competitive each year, it helps to get some pieces of your project in order far in advance, and an early start makes this more achievable. If you are interested in working with us for your PEP Grant project, contact us.
  • We’re working with various PEP Grant winners to evaluate their ongoing projects. It is amazing to see the hard work of the project directors, school staff, and community stakeholders pay off with students improving fitness levels, nutrition habits, and education. We’ve featured aspects from Kenston Schools in Ohio and the Police Athletic League in NYC, and look forward to sharing more good news from PEP projects in the future.
  • We’ve been working with our long-time partner Polar to create some exciting new web resources for grant seekers interested in including Polar products and services in their grant projects! We’ll be posting more on those soon.
  • We have begun promoting three exciting US ED grant programs that are expected to open competitions within the month: School Climate Transformations grants for LEAs (school safety), Project Prevent (school safety), and Full Service Community Schools (covers MANY topic areas).

If you’d like us to assist you with your grant application or project evaluation, please contact us.

VT Heart Rate Monitors Grant

It’s exciting to see states stepping up to the plate to encourage schools to improve physical education (PE) programs to increase student activity and decrease obesity! Especially considering the tough economy. Yesterday we discussed PA’s new program for middle schools. Today we look at the Vermont Department of Education’s 2009-2010 School Wellness Grant Application for Implementation of Heart Rate Monitors in High School Physical Education—fondly referred to (at least by me :o) ) as the VT HRMs grant.

This grant surfaced in 2007. Lindsay Simpson (802-828-1461 or at VT Department of Education is the program contact, and I can’t say enough good things about her. She is extremely committed to improving PE across the state and to this program in particular. My professional communications with her have revealed her to be a very helpful, responsive contact who is ready and willing to support PE programs in her state in any way that she can. This year’s late May application release is just one more example of her ongoing efforts to make VT schools successful. While the program has historically had a pretty short application period (just a few weeks to a month), this year schools have been given several months to prepare their applications: the deadline is September 18, 2009.

Any Vermont public school serving grades 9-12 may apply for this grant, provided the school has not already won this grant and/or has not already won a Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP) grant. Three applicants will be selected to receive awards of up to $9,000 for the purchase and implementation of Polar heart rate monitors ( to ensure objective assessment of time spent physical active in PE. Awardees will be notified by October 9, 2009. (I love the quick turn-around this program provides! It’s a rare treat to know the results of your grant efforts so soon after submission.) All project activities, expenditures, and required reporting must be completed by June 30, 2010.

As found on page 2 of the RFP, the goals of this program are to:

  • Document and increase the amount of time high school students spend engaged in moderate to vigorous physical activity during physical education.
  • Develop student self-knowledge, personal goal setting and fitness planning skills for lifetime physical activity.
  • Develop students’ 21st century skills of tracking, interpreting and evaluating personal physical activity effort with objective, technological measures.

The RFP is clearly written and easy to respond to, but you will need time to gather information and form the required project committee (see page 4 of the RFP), if you do not already have one in place. The committee verification DOES require signatures from ALL members—in addition to your administrator—to evidence commitment and support for the project. Hence, I recommend taking full advantage of the additional time the Department of Education has allowed for this year.

What additional thoughts or questions do you have? Good luck to all applicants! Be sure to let us know via comments on this blog or if you win an award!

Polar Grants Research Updated 5/15/2009

If you are a fan of Polar products and services and are seeking funding to make a purchase for a school or non-profit organization, email your name, phone number, email address, school and district or organization name, and state to with “Polar Research Request” in the subject line or contact your Polar sales rep ( for a copy of the most current Polar grants research. The report was just updated and reorganized for reader ease last week and made available 5/15. It’s FREE to potential Polar customers!

Insight Grants