Freeport schools get $700G federal grant for phys-ed

The Freeport School District, in partnership with Adelphi University, has been awarded more than $700,000 -- the largest physical education grant in the district's history, officials said.

Over the next three years, the district will receive a total of $701,917 to expand its districtwide physical education and wellness curriculum for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Professional development workshops and training sessions will also be funded through the grant.

The district received the Carol M. White Physical Education Program grant from the U.S. Department of Education. During the first year, the district will receive $326,416, in the second year $187,752 and in the third year $187,749.

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"Achieving this grant is a remarkable accomplishment and it will provide immediate and ongoing benefits directly to our students across all grades," Freeport Superintendent Kishore Kuncham said in a statement. "We are grateful to Adelphi University for working with us to achieve this grant and for their continued involvement in the development of our programs."

Students will benefit from programs focusing on nutrition, healthy eating habits, physical activity and stress management. Students will use state-of-the-art equipment such as new spin bicycles and will be able to monitor their progress through biofeedback technologies and databases.

To meet state standards for physical education, Adelphi University faculty members Kevin Mercier, Kadi Bliss, and Anne Gibbone will work with Freeport educators to establish the program.

"This collaborative endeavor between our physical education and health education faculty," Jane Ashdown, dean of the Ruth S. Ammon School of Education at Adelphi University, said in a statement, "is a fine example of the kind of school-university partnership and community engagement that is needed to address pressing health and education disparities."

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