Insight Grants

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!

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Insight Grants