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New Kaiser grants promote school physical activity

A new grant program sponsored by Kaiser Permanente Colorado will make $2.5 million available to Colorado school districts that want to increase the amount of moderate to vigorous physical activity students get each day.

School districts that win the grants will be asked to spend the money at “priority” schools selected based on school needs. The grants can be used to increase physical activity during school hours, through quality physical education classes, recess, brain breaks or in-class activity breaks. The grants can also be used to promote physical activity before and after school through bike- and walk-to-school initiatives, intramural sports or physical activity clubs.

The new grant program is part of Kaiser’s “Thriving Schools” campaign, which was launched nationally in February and includes web resources and tools to promote school health and wellness. In promoting the program, Kaiser officials cite research findings that kids who are physically active have higher test scores, greater attention in class, better behavior and reduced absenteeism.

Grant awards will range from around $5,000 to $200,000 depending on the size of the district and the population served. There are about 90 school districts in Kaiser’s Colorado service area, which includes Denver, Boulder, Loveland, Greeley, Colorado Springs and Pueblo. Grant proposals are due by Oct. 14.

Kaiser will hold an informational webinar on the grant program at 11 a.m. Monday, September 23. To register for the webinar, click here.

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