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On a Shoe String PE Budget with One Shoe

With budgets cuts happening all around the country, PE programs are feeling the heat. This sounds too familiar to PE teachers all around the country.  Especially when PE programs are trying their best to order daily equipment, provide training for their colleagues, maintain their existing program and to expand on their program.  I constantly get asked how do you do it at Sierra Vista?

From the onset in 2003, when we changed our philosophy from “Old PE” to “New PE”, we knew it was not going to be cheap.  Along the way, we have been very fortunate to receive a Carol M. White PEP grant in 2008.  But even before we won the PEP grant we have been fund-raising to improve on our PE program before and after our PEP grant was awarded.  We average $10,000-$15,000 a year from 1 fund-raiser.  Many people don’t believe that it can happen and that is where I say it can and will happen.  Obviously, you need to think out of the box.  The traditional car wash, selling candy sales will not generate enough profit.  A key aspect that we learned early on was that there had to be ownership from our students and our community.  It didn’t matter if we the PE teachers had this great idea for a fund-raiser if we did not get backing from students/community.  So what do we do and how do we do it at Sierra Vista?

Very simple 3 step process:

1)     Every year, I invite as many vendors to come to Sierra Vista to display their products to our students.  We call this our “Showcase Product Day”.  This is a very Fun day for everyone involved.  Throughout the day, students  get to play and have fun on what the latest products /equipment are there for PE. Throughout the day, the PE teachers and I explain to our students that the “Showcase Product Day” begins our 2 week fund raiser and it’s these products/equipment that we want to implement. Students are given a flyer explaining to them how the Donation levels work.  Students get a lot of stuff in return; i.e pedometers, heart rate monitors, shirts, equipment, ice cream passes etc.  Students begin getting donations from our community.

2)    The next day is the most important day.  We than give our students a survey for them to give us feedback on what they want in our PE program.  What a concept, listening to our students!  The students are the ones that make the decision on what we implement! The pride and ownership of our students decisions have changed the cultural of not only our PE program but our school and community.

3)    At the end of the Fund-raiser, celebrate the success.  Every year, we hold a Fitness Expo and a PE Fun Day that displays our PE program.  In our Fitness Expo, students are engaged in a circuit training schedule that shows different ways to workout and have fun.  We also invite local and national trainers to come and participate in the festivities.  The community is invited to this event.

For our PE fun day, we reward the students that participated in the fund- raiser to day of Fun.  We invite a local Jump Zone to our school and we fill up our entire field with them.  Our students have a blast.  This past year, we also formed a partnership with Nike to take part in our Fun Day.  Students were able to see the latest technology from the Pros at Nike.

As soon as this 2 week event is over, I am already planning for next year’s event. Every year, I am always trying to make it better than the year before.  This type of fund-raiser does involve time and planning.  It won’t happen overnight, but what does.  This non-traditional fund-raiser has worked well for us.  It has helped us implement new equipment, maintain our PE program and continued to expand on our PE program.

For further questions on this type of fund-raiser, please contact Exergame Fitness Advisory Board Member George Velarde directly.

Tommy Seilheimer VP of Exergame Fitness adds:

“George is evolutionary in his ways of teaching “New PE” to his students. Exergame Fitness is prous to have Mr. Velarde as an advisory board member with our company because of his passion for keeping kids active, healthy and fit by utilizing Exergaming Products that work with today’s kids.

This year we had the distinct pleasure of doing a “live – donation day” at George’s School where we brought out all sorts of Exergaming products so the kids could raise money at their school to get the latest and greatest equipment for their “every-day PE” classes.”

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