Q. I'm a physical education teacher at two Chicago public schools with limited equipment and money. My students need exposure to a variety of activities to keep them fit. Are there grants that might help? Anonymous teacher
A. Yes. You can apply for a grant of up to $6,000 from the Illinois Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. Recipients have used the money to buy a variety of equipment, says David Thomas, a professor in the School of Kinesiology & Recreation at Illinois State University in Normal, who helps select the grant winners. Most applicants get some money, though Thomas says, "It may not be all they want." The only catch: You must join the association for $45. (See www.iahperd.org.) In addition, any teacher can solicit small donations for special projects at www.donorschoose.org or research grant opportunities at the Donors Forum of Chicago (www.donorsforum.org). The district received funding from the U.S. Department of Education through the physical education program grant initiative during the last two fiscal years, but was turned down this year, says Alyson Cooke, Chicago Public Schools' director of external resources. According to the Department of Education Web site, funding for the program was cut.
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