MADER, Calif. (KFSN) --At Chaves Elementary kids are playing bucket ball. The idea is to get the ball in the bucket while on scooters-- it is not your average PE class.
"We try not to do old school PE. We try modern things and do things that the kids will enjoy and love," said Cindy Bitter, Chaves PE teacher.
Bitter said she wants to do more activities to get kids interested in fitness and health-- and now she will be able to.
The Madera Unified School District was awarded the Carol M. White Physical Education Program Grant. This Federal Department of Education grant gives the district close to $1-million to focus on increasing the level of student fineness and address overall health.
The school district's athletic director, Marty Bitter, said that growth will come from increasing professional development opportunities for PE teachers, hiring a program coordinator, and new upgraded equipment and curriculum that will benefit all schools. All things he said this grant will help with down the road.
"It's about increasing our test scores, getting our kids active in the community. Not just providing great PE programs for them, but teaching them nutrition and things they can do when they get home with their family."
The district also said along with tackling the issue of obesity, another goal is to increase overall fitness scores and get more kids thinking about health and fitness on their own.
"It's absolutely critical. Kids need to be physically active," said Ed Gonzalez, Madera School District Superintendent.
The grant money is split over the span of three years and the bulk of it will be used this year to bring new things, like bucket ball, to Madera school turfs.
Congressman Jim Costa was also in town to meet with the school district. He tells us this grant is a win-win because it gets kids to think about health early on which will hopefully save government dollars on healthcare costs.