PE Goes High-Tech With Help from ED Grant Fund

October 28, 2014 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

muscles-up--musculos-para-cim-223838-mEver heard of a “sports wall”? Until today, I hadn’t. And again, until today I had not realized how much physical education is changing in the nation’s schools. Thanks to the help of federal grant funds, PE is going more high-tech.

Consider this recent article from the Glens Falls Post-Star in New York. As the article states, “Kickball and dodgeball are out, and sports walls and weightlifting are in.”

School officials there have purchased about $500,000 worth of equipment including sports walls, weights, elliptical machines and other items with money it received from the Carol M. White Physical Education Program grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The Queensbury Union Free School District will receive more than $1 million for the next three years under the grant.

So what is a sports wall? Apparently you face it in a plank position and attempt to hit electronic circles when they flash green to earn more points. The wall, along with other activities, help to boost the heart rate and improve physical fitness.

The grant money, according to the article, also helped equip fitness rooms with projection screens and Apple TV so that students now can listen to music and watch their heart rate projected on a screen. “It’s a little bit more enjoyable for the kids,” said Kathy McDermott, grant manager for the school district. No kidding. I wish this technology was around years ago when I was sweating away in gym class.

And along with exercise, good health also includes nutrition. Therefore, the grant funds also will help school officials launch a cooking club, where students will be trying new foods, the article states.

Knowing how obesity is growing among the U.S. population, I’m all for using federal grant funds to encourage physical fitness — and making it fun. Maybe sometime down the road, I’ll take a turn at one of these “sports walls” to see what the fuss is all about.

Let us know your opinions on this grant program. We’d love to hear from you.



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