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Dear All –

While PEP Funding is not in President Obama’s 2011 budget.  This has happened before.

1996  – The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor-HHS-Education marked up its version of the Fiscal Year 2007 spending bill. Unfortunately, they agreed to go along with President Bush’s request to slash funding for the Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP) to only $26.4 million for next year, a 65 percent reduction from this year’s $72.6 million. This amount would only fund the remaining years of previously awarded grants. This does not affect this years amount that will be awarded in the next few months. The time to act is now!

In any case, we will need to start contacting our folks in Congress (Two Senators, One Congressman/woman) to request that they reestablish the Carol M White PEP Grant funds as a categorical fund just for K-12 physical education.  Here’s my sample letter:

Dear Senator Kay Hagen:

I would like to express my concerns over the elimination/consolidation of the Carol M. White PEP Grant funds as reflected in President Obama’s 2011 budget.  As you know, North Carolina is one of a handful of Southern states that lead the country in childhood overweight, adult obesity, heart attacks, stroke, hypertension, and type II diabetes.

This fact has been described in numerous articles in newspapers and magazines across North Carolina and specifically in recent reports by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  As CDC has published, North Carolina is in the “Stroke Belt,” where a high percentage of our children, youth, and adults exhibit 2 or more risk factors (i.e., are physically inactive, over-consume high fat/sugar foods) for pre-mature death.

The Carol M White PEP Grants have been shown to help school districts to develop different ways to encourage children and youth to be physically active.  This is being accomplished by designing fitness programs for all students, increasing the variety of PE offerings beyond the traditional team sports, and helping physical education teachers to encourage all students, not just athletes!

Your support of keeping the Carol M White PEP Grant program funds intact will ensure this for North Carolina schools.  Currently, there are numerous school districts in North Carolina receiving PEP Grant funds.  These include Catawba County Schools, Union County Schools, Rowan-Salisbury City Schools, Iredell-Statesville Schools, Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools, Jackson and Macon County Schools, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, and Durham County Schools.

Without your support, we will not be able to maintain the great strides that have occurred in North Carolina.  I personally know that numerous school districts in our state are also applying for PEP Grant funds in 2010.  These schools will not be able to receive full funding if the President’s budget is approved by Congress.

Artie Kamiya

3509 Mossdale Avenue

Durham, NC 27707

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