Physical education is just as eligible for your school's technology funds as math or science. Meet with the head of technology and explain what you want to do and the role technologywill play.
Speak with your principal
Even if it's not budget time, meet with your principal. He or she may have discretionary funds or year end money. Explain that the technology will help you meet and document compliance with state standards. Polar has copies of most state's standards. Contact Polar for a copy of your state's standards.
Find your district's grant writer
Many districts employ people who can help you obtain funding. They have experience in finding appropriate grant sources and in writing effective applications.
Explore cross-curricula opportunities with your colleagues
There are many applications for the data collected from Polar technology. By finding allies across various disciplines you can broaden the support of your plan. Students can plot their heart rate over time in math. In health, science and the language arts, students can do experiments or write reports based on their own personal fitness data.
All parents want the best for their children, so speak to them about the importance of physical education to the well being of every child. Parents have a great deal of influence with the school board, so don't miss an opportunity to "sell" your program, whether it's at parent-teacher conferences or your school's open house night. Contact Polar for a PowerPoint presentation you can use.
Approach local businesses
Local businesses are always looking for opportunities to raise their public profile. They often sponsor little league baseball and soccer teams, so supporting a physical education program is a good fit. For your part, you'll have to communicate their generosity to the community. Ask your principal if you can put signs in the gymnasium that would be seen by the parents during sporting events. If your school has a newsletter that goes to parents, put in a conspicuous thank you. Call your local newspaper, they might be interested in writing a story about the business's involvement with your school.
Contact local hospitals
Speak to the public affairs office and ask about their community programs. What better place to fund a heath and wellness PE program than a hospital. Even local doctor's offices and clinics could help.
Visit Your City Council or Chamber of Commerce
They may be interested in sponsoring your program and they may have grants for initiatives that benefit the community.
Hold a fund-raiser
This is a classic way to raise money. Get your students and their parents together and hold a car wash or bake sale.
Apply for the Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP)
The PEP program was created by Congress because they recognized the importance of quality physical education to the healthy development of growing children. $60 million has been earmarked in 2003 to improve PE programs across the country.
Go to the Feds
Every year the federal government puts aside money for education grants. You'll find some specific to physical education, but it's important to be imaginative. You may be eligible for funds from grants concerned with safe and drug free schools, various health issues and technology monies. The key to being awarded is in writing an effective grant.
Explore grants available through your state
Besides federal grants, each state also has money available. Start by exploring your state's Department of Education web site where various grants will be posted. Contact the Society of State Directors of Physical Education, Health and Recreation (SSDPEHRD) member from your state. He or she will also have up to date grant information. Contact Polar for your State Director's contact information.
Broaden your search
Besides money from government sources there are many private foundations and businesses that also offer grants. A good place to find a listing of these is at www.philanthropy.com. They offer a yearly subscription at very reasonable rates.