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UNC Active Schools Institute Awarded Over $1.2 Million in Grants Since 2016

UNC Active Schools Institute Team

November 30, 2018

The University of Northern Colorado Active Schools Institute was awarded $510,000 in grant funding through the Colorado Health Foundation from 2018-20. This is in addition to TCHF’s 2016-18 grant of $710,000.

In addition, Active Schools was awarded over $26,800 in grants from three additional organizations this year: Colorado Education Initiative, Active Schools U.S. and Alliance for a Healthier Generation.

UNC Active Schools Pal Academy participants and facilitatorsThese funds are being used to conduct community engaged scholarship in school physical activity promotion. The Institute offers continuing education options for physical activity leaders (PALs), such as a two-year, online-hybrid master’s program, and further assists schools and professional development providers with data and evaluation needs to improve children’s health. The Active Schools Institute is deeply engaged in the community by ensuring Colorado school districts are resourced to plan and implement evidence-based practices and promoting healthy activities for kids, including the Bear Physical Activity Week (Bear PAW) camp where children in grades K-5 participate in physical activity for a week during the summer.

“We know active kids do better in school and in life, every day. For youth to be benefited, physical activity learning communities must be cultivated and supported,” said Russ Carson, founding director of Active Schools.

Collective Impact Engaged Scholar award to Active SchoolsActive Schools was awarded the Collective Impact Engaged Scholar Award in October by UNC’s Office of Community and Civic Engagement and presented a poster about their community involvement at the event. From 2016-18, Active Schools tallied a total of 266 outreach activities involving over 3,100 participating professionals and over 500 hours of engagement with Colorado district and school communities.

Active Schools U.S. also presented the UNC Active Schools Institute with one of two annual National Partner of the Year awards this year for their contributions to physical education and physical activity leadership best practices over the past year.

“We’re trying to become a more self-sustaining entity, and it’s saying a lot that we’re getting this amount of funds from so many different sources,” said Michael Capps, Active Schools’ lab manager.

Bear Physical Activity Week (Bear PAW) camp

Part of UNC’s School of Sport and Exercise Science, the Active Schools Institute (formerly the Active Schools Lab) focuses on preparing educators to deliver quality physical education and lead movement initiatives to get kids more active. It also helps schools cultivate active learning settings for Colorado youth through data-informed processes and leadership development in schoolwide physical activity programming. Interdisciplinary research and collaboration is central to what they do.