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Oklahoma Schools Awarded Physical Fitness Grants

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Elementary School in Checotah. Elementary School in Checotah.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded four grants in Oklahoma to be used for physical fitness programs.

The grants announced Tuesday include more than $607,000 to Keys Public Schools and $450,000 to Checotah Public Schools. The education department said two other groups, Putnam City Schools and Schools for Healthy Lifestyles in Oklahoma City also received grants.

The PEP grants are intended to help schools and community organizations start, expand or enhance physical education and nutrition education programs -- including after-school programs -- for students in kindergarten through 12th grades.

"A healthy, active lifestyle is an important ingredient of academic success," U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said.

"These grants are a resource to help schools and communities develop programs that teach students the importance of staying active and developing healthy lifestyles. We need more states, districts, schools and communities to recognize the critically important role of physical education in improving student engagement and achievement."

The Department of Education awarded a total of 67 grants nationwide worth more than $33 million.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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