A Movement for a FIT and Healthy America
The Cost of Obesity in the USA in 2014 Keeps Rising

PEP Program Photo CollageThe PEP Program

A Vital Federal Grant Program Supporting Physical Education

Did you know the average school budget for Physical Education is only $764 per year?  And, 48% of all high schools have no PE?  PEP, the Physical Education Program, is a proven 13 year federal program which is helping schools keep and rebuild PE programs throughout the USA. PEP is also the best way to get kids moving, active and physically and mentally healthy.

Read below for more information on the PEP Program and physical education.


PEP Program

 Summary of PEP - Physical Education Program 

PEP is an 13 year federal program providing grants from the Department of Education directly to school districts to support and build quality PE programs.  Grants are utilized for equipment, support and the training and education of teachers and staff.  Many schools are using PEP grants for fitness equipment and technology tools which help make PE fun and personalized for every kid.

Physical Education is the best way to get kids active and moving outside of school. You will see current research which proves PE reduces sedentary lifestyles and get kids active outside of school on our Benefits of PE page.

 The Need for Physical Education and PEP 

To improve long term health, we need cultural change and that must start with children. Today, only 48% of our schools have PE.  And, with the average school budget for PE at only $764 per year, it is vital we keep PEP grants alive and growing to improve health and fitness levels of our children.

PEP is being threatened by our national budget crisis. PEP is the only spending in the entire Department of Education budget for physical education.  We must protect the PEP Program to "get kids moving". In simple terms, PEP will improve the health and wellness of our children and reduce healthcare expenses for our future.

PEP Photo Highlight Box

  Research - PEP Is Working - 39% Increase In Fitness! 

PEP has helped many schools through the years. Recent research analyzed by Focused Fitness of 1400 students in schools receiving PEP Grant, 4th graders showed students improved their fitness levels by 39% over 2 years! Notice in the chart below how fitness levels improved in year one, maintained entering 5th grade, and then improved furthers.

 Focused Fitness Chart 2015

In another study of 56,000 kids in schools that have received PEP grants, the results were also impressive.On average, students made gains in every fitness measure during the 3 years (Pre to Post).  Students showed improvements in:

  • Muscular strengthFF3
  • Muscular endurance
  • Cardiovascular endurance

Overall, students increased their weekly reported minutes of MVPA by 16% pre to post (MVPA – 30 minutes more per week of Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity).

 Supply vs. Demand - PEP is in Big Demand 

During the past 10 years, thousands of school districts have applied for PEP Grants. Unfortunately, less than 10% of all applicants have received a grant. This shows the demand for this great program and why we must keep PEP funded in the future.

Let your Members of Congress know you want to keep PEP funding and sustained. Advocate now

 PEP - Supporting "New PE" Programs 

While PEP grants are used to support traditional PE programs, many schools are showcasing a "New PE" as a result of PEP grants.  Click to see some of the new products and approaches which are used in "New PE" programs, such as the use of technology, video exercise equipment,  personalized fitness, fitness measurement tools, etc.

PEP Photo table

 The State of PE in our Country 

You have learned in the above paragraphs that PE has been deemphasized by many schools or how PE budgets have been cut to very low levels. But there is more than budget issues.

With the focus on academics over the past 10-15 years, physical education has taken a back seat and has been deemphasized or de-funded.  School administrators forgot you need a healthy body for a healthy mind

We can't treat our children this way. Advocate now for PEP. Kids need to be active during the school day to activate their body...and their mind.

You can see the vast benefits of physical education in the Benefits of PE section of our website.

 The History of PEP 

PEP was first passed in 2001 with $5 million in grants for school physical education programs.  After 13 years, a total of nearly $900 million has helped schools and communities rebuild quality PE programs.  In 2014, $78 million was allocated to PEP.  Recent research of schools receiving PEP grants show students made gains in every fitness measure during the 3 years of testing (Pre to Post).  You can see an impressive lists of  benefits of PEP and PE in the Benefits of PE section of this website.


PEP and PE Produce More Active & Fit Kids Reducing Healthcare Costs

The Cost of Health

PE Improves Brain Development Too!

See how the brain is energized after just 20 minutes of walking. A Healthy Body = Healthy Mind. (Blue is inactivity in the brain)

Brain Pre and Post Exercise

brains 2

We now have evidence that PE and physical activity improves a child's academic scores. And activity and sports do so much more to build personality characteristic and skills. Check out our Benefits of PE pages or Benefits of Physical Activity pages for more information. 

SHAPE AMERICA "Shape Of Our Nation" Report

See the comprehensive 2012 report on the current picture of physical education in the American education system published by Shape America, the largest organization of professionals involved in school-based health, physical education and physical activity, who are dedicated to teaching and promoting active, healthy lifestyles..

Read the Report


Did You Know That PEP Represents Less Than 2/10th of 1% of the Entire Dept. of Education Budget?


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Inactivity Kills More Than Obesity - BBC New


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